Laura Porter

About Laura Porter

Often letting chance encounters and circumstance dictate the choice of material, Laura Porter’s practice uses found and repurposed materials gathered from her immediate environment; discarded clothing of local people, or waste materials collected from construction sites. Working with these found objects, she unpicks the systemic arrangements and regularly repeated patterns that regulate life – from the relentless industrial production of the man-made, to the repetitive craft processes created within our domestic environments – in order to explore broader themes of the individual versus the group. Inspired by structures in states of flux, these repetitive processes abrade the materials within the works, and calls into question the recycled systems that humankind perpetually develops in the pursuit of progress.

I usually work with materials that have had an intimate relationship with the body – be it clothing or objects from within our domestic spaces – but that have been deemed unwanted or not fit for their intended purpose. Against the back-drop of eco-consciousness, I’m interested in the ethics of material choices, and how art can/will tackle these challenges.

There is also beauty in materials that have their own histories; where we can’t understand the material fully because we don’t know where it’s been or how it’s necessarily come into being. Clothing has definitely been the predominant material I’ve worked with in my practice. Clothes come from very tactile, hand-made production, because even mass-produced clothing is still made by the hand to some degree, and so I see it as a full circle moment, that I turn that clothing into an art object via low-tech, hand-made process.

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Laura is the director of Studio KIND – a new artist-led gallery space in North Devon where she currently lives and works. She recently received a Connections Through Culture Grant from the British Council, to work in collaboration with Malaysian-based artist Lee Mok Yee, to develop Reciprocal Space Residency. Lee Mok Yee is also exhibiting in Material Matters.