Juliette Laird

What inspires your art practice?
My family moved around a lot until we came to Aotearoa when I was 11. That early experience of dislocation has influenced the focus of my work. I have often been inspired by the nature of a location, or the stories of the people who have connections to it. Through the forms and materials of my sculptures I try to express the importance of our connection to place. I also love to respond to materials, and use their visual and tactile possibilities for communicating ideas and feelings. I am particularly interested in social and political narratives as reflected in objects and where they are placed.

What materials do you work in?
This work for NZ Sculpture onShore uses wire, a material I love for drawing in space but which also suggests our control and use of the land. I choose materials which I can work with by hand, and often adapt domestic materials and techniques to suit my narrative.

Briefly describe your artwork for NZ Sculpture OnShore 2018. My dancing, rainbow-coloured mangroves are out of place for a reason. The natural environment, which they are such an important part of, has been badly affected by our activity around coastal areas and rivers. Silt and run-off are clogging up the zone where their role is to act as a lovely nursery for intertidal creatures. My hope is that their unnatural appearance can make us think about the value of mangroves. But if you feel a bit of unease at these plants morphing into animals, that may be a good thing too.

Where are the public most likely to see your artworks outside of NZ Sculpture OnShore? Dreaming of Summer’ (Knitted yarn and wire) - Polish Heritage Trust Museum, Howick. Work that has been sold is in private homes.

Where did you study?


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