LAURA POWER DAVIES
Painter, Printmaker working in River Studios
What appealed to you most about your studio space when you first saw it?
I first saw this building before Creative Spaces took it on when the MREAM group of artists were looking for a new space. It was an abandoned building but the old wooden pillars, the chickenwire and corrugated iron walls, and the old wooden panelled walls all had a patina and echo of the industries that had been here. My studio is on the first level: one of the little spaces on the eastern side - when I first saw these little stalls with that patina of old wood and old iron, I loved them, and then was fortunate enough 2 years later to be granted one of these as my own studio.
How have you made this space your own?
Increased the amount of light by covering the floor and one wall white; reduced the amount of dust by hanging transparent plastic, and net curtains; establishing a storage space for paintings; laying down a carpet of my late grandmothers; having some favourite paintings hanging; having coffee making facilities.
What do you create or make in your studio?
Art. Paintings. Portraits. Compassion. Landscapes. Ideas. Love. Composure. Music while I work. Thoughtfulness.
What is your favourite item in your studio at the moment (or in the whole building)?
Hard to say - loved it when my Cloudship sculpture was hanging in the corridor, now it sits stored in the studio; I really like my big worktable - its like an old friend; I always like looking at the iron cross brackets at the both ends of the corridor; and sometimes am fascinated by the views and changing of the light through dustgrimed or rainspattered windows. Love the quiet, and hearing the occasional squeak of someone's chair in another studio.
"I came back to art after decades away from it. After I retired from psychology, initially my art form was textile art, working with vellum, animal skin, and felt. In the past 6 years I have returned to painting.
"My professional background as a psychologist has led me to be immensely interested in people and psyche. Influenced by the work of CG Jung, I find people’s interior journeys and connections to ideas bigger than themselves to be of most interest, including that of our deep connection to nature and ecology.
"Since I joined the MREAM group of artists in 2007, I have completed a Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Visual Arts and have shown work in more than 20 group exhibitions at both private and artist run galleries, and have held two solo exhibitions (See CV for details).
"My work in felt was featured in the ABC documentary, 'Artscape' in 2008, which depicted the demise of the MREAM studio space making way for Footscray residential development.
"As one of seven textile artists working as a group – “7/8ths” - our entry to the Geelong Wool Museum Art Quilt in 2008 was a finalist in that juried art prize.
"The most recent exhibition in November this year at Tacit Contemporary, was a solo exhibition of works created as a result of a trip to Antarctica, and consisted of very large and small works in oils and acrylics depicting the immensity of Antarctic icebergs in the Southern Ocean."