Feature Contemporary Artist Laura Gannon
In London-based artist Laura Gannon, Burrill not only has a birthday twin but someone who shares her interest in architecture among other things.
Gannon’s work oscillates between drawing, sculpture, painting and film. Growing up in the west of Ireland, with little access to galleries and museums, she was fascinated by craft, clothes and buildings. Inspired by her mother’s interest in fashion, she would visit a local mill to buy fabric and have clothes made up based on designs from magazines. This process of seeing a garment made from start to finish made her understand the stages involved in making.
“My mother also wrote and was interested in politics, so there was the duality of engaging both with sensuality and ideas, the body and the intellect,” says Laura Gannon.
“As a result, women’s writing, design and architecture have a large influence on my practice. I am looking at the sensuality of objects and how a good design and architecture contribute to a physical and mental wellbeing. When looking at architecture of female architects, I am looking at how they include a sensitivity to the needs of the body and decorative elements within buildings.”
Gannon’s continuing interest in buildings made by women architects, creating a narrative through a description of place, also intrigues Burrill. Burrill says: “Visiting her studio more recently I was bowled over by her performative abstract drawings. Materials rendered beautiful in a complex and visceral way. She creates objects of complex simplicity, clear in colour and significant in design. The materials talk to each other in a profound way creating a work of thoughtful connections. As with her films, she weaves a narrative together which tell tales and creates unexpected reminiscence.”
Gannon’s recent works include abstract drawings made with metallic ink on linen that were inspired by the buildings of modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi. The linen has been subjected to multiple processes (folding, bending, wrinkling) to reveal its corporeality.
She says: “I read short stories by female writers when I am working in the studio. These works are on my mind when making. I often use the titles of works that I’m reading as titles of the artworks. Language and narrative allow the exterior world to be present in the studio alongside the interior world of my imagination.”
About the champion
In addition to acting as the main curator at London’s Now Gallery, located on the Greenwich Peninsula, Jemima Burrill is an artist whose own practice incorporates photography, video, drawing and performance. She is represented by Galerie Houg in Paris and hugely values this connection with Europe. You may also know her by her alter-ego @megaphonewoman on Instagram.