Laura Dawe Buildings I Feel Like

Works in the exhibition

Division Gallery is proud to present Laura Dawe’s thesis exhibition for OCADU’s Master Degree in Interdisciplinary Art. Buildings I Feel Like considers ways of representing progression, improvement, and the beauty of trying.

Investigating the correlation of sobriety and artistic output, Dawe’s current practice illustrates parallels between recovery and the act of re-covering. What if we could step into ourself like we do our front door or favourite sweater? Or read oneself like we do a book? Buildings, dresses, and other vessels figuratively stand-in for the self, alluding to how slow transformations can be reflected in layers of mistinted paint, swatches of mended fabric, or patches of drywall. These manifestations of repair are poetic indicators of effort: the more layers, the further the journey. 

Buildings I Feel Like depicts something in-progress without the implication that it is somehow incomplete or undone. Some people are sturdy Victorian homes or cozy basement apartments. Others are new condos, perpetually under construction. The house presents various rich metaphors of; interior and exterior, covered and exposed, private and public. The weightless compositions of Dawe’s ‘dress portraits’ — both intimate and surreal — offer a place for poetic speculation. Culled from her experiences, the drawings — revealing, bold and approached with an unresting vigour — stake an unashamed tone. Devoid of wearer, the clothing becomes animate, declaring itself a subject free for interpretation. 

Dawe’s paintings, drawings, and installations celebrate the adaptive, sometimes messy, and meandering paths taken in search of self-actualization. By presenting a journey at its midpoint, her installations reveal that these finite markers — that of beginnings and ends — are fictitious when talking about self-betterment. Reminders that the pursuit of balance and happiness is inherently, and perpetually underway — valuing progression rather than perfection.

For more information on the artist