Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Laura Marotta @ b contemporary

Laura Marotta, Untitled drawings II-IV; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2012
The madness of their method is a three-person show featuring work by Svava Thordis Juliusson, Liss Platt, and Laura Marotta at b contemporary until September 1, 2012. The pairing of Liss Platt with Laura Marotta is significant. This year Liss Platt won the Hamilton Arts Award (Established Visual Artist) and Laura Marotta won the Hamilton Arts Award (Emerging Visual Artist).

Laura Marotta is a sculptor who recently earned an MFA from the University of Guelph and a BFA from McMaster University. Laura is one of those artists whose work snuck up on me. When I walked into b contemporary, Liss Platt's large photographs of candy in repeat patterns and Svava Thordis Juliusson's sculptures made of cable ties first grabbed my attention. Laura Marotta's work quietly made an impression that has stayed with me. Please excuse my crappy photographs: the lighting and my camera did not get along. All the drawings are on creamy white paper, so use your imagination to get past the pink cast. 
Laura Marotta, Untitled drawing I; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2012
My favourite pieces are Untitled drawings I, III, and V where holes are cut seemingly randomly into the geometric drawings. Laura used pencil, pen and marker on paper for each drawing. Each hole reveals, conceals, and is mysterious. What was excised? Why are the holes cut where they are? Each hole references its drawing directly as in the case of drawing V or indirectly (drawing I).
Laura Marotta, Untitled drawings IV detail; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2012
The drawings are of three-dimensional geometric sculptures and each hole reminds us that the drawings are on thin flat paper.
Laura Marotta, Untitled drawings V detail; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2012
Untitled drawing V is my favourite of my favourite three drawings. The colours are optimistic (the yellow circle reminds me of an egg yolk and the sun) and transparent. The drawing is like a puzzle: What is inside and what is outside? The statement on the b contemporary website states: "The drawings in this show study issues of space and architecture. She twists natural perspective forcing the viewer to question their perceptions." True, very true.

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