Each month, Newnan Art Rez invites a talented artist to live in Gray Cottage and simply spend time creating and interacting with the Coweta community.
This April, Christina Laurel left her home in Greenville, South Carolina to sample some Georgia hospitality and create an installation.
We visited Gray Cottage to speak with Christina and view her latest installation.
Christina was not always an installation artist. Early in her career her preferred medium was colored pencils.
During her time as an art student at State University of New York Brockport, her professors recognized that she was not pushing herself out of her comfort zone.
They encouraged her to explore the outer limits of her creativity. This is when her art moved out of the realm of two dimensions.
Her first three dimensional piece was a deconstructed kimono installation.
Christina explained to us that she is drawn to Japanese culture and aesthetics.
Her kimono installation preceded many Japanese inspired installations.
Later installations included Japanese cultural icons such as the fan and the ginkgo leaf.
A colleague introduced her to Japanese shoji paper. An almost translucent fabric-like material.
Because Christina once aspired to be a fashion designer, it seems natural for her to be drawn to this paper, which lends itself to the same manipulation as certain fabrics.
Christiana’s current installation is a series of shoji paper lilly pads on a collage background.
The installation is deceptively simplistic.
Christina compares her art to the work of a sous-chef. She spends hours preparing the “ingredients” for her installations.
Her collages are formed of found paper, which includes pieces of her previous art, deconstructed books, and gifts from friends.
She often modifies the paper by removing layers or adding texture through distressing and tools.
Her goal for finished installations is an intimate, relatable work that has echos of nature.
She enjoys viewing her art through other’s eyes. Viewer’s feedback often gives her a fresh perspective on her work and allows her to see it in new ways.
To find out more about past and current artists in residence, visit the Art Rez website.