Contemporaries members were treated to an evening of art and alchemy last week, as we explored the Chippendale studio space of renowned Australian artist Janet Laurence. Members gained insight into Janet’s fascinating practice, which explores the human impact on a fragile and disappearing natural world. Her studio appears as much art space as science lab and alchemist’s workshop, as she works across a range of unusual mediums to create her otherworldly installations that highlight the complexity and fragility of our world.

The Contemporaries studio visit coincided with an exhibition of Janet’s latest works at Dominik Mersch Gallery, 11 August – 3 September.

Read all about the event and view photos from the night here.

Janet Laurence lives and works in Sydney, and was the Australian representative at United Nation’s Artists 4 Paris Climate 2015, in which Laurence brought international attention to the fragility of Australia’s World Heritage Great Barrier Reef through her multi-media work Deep Breathing (Resuscitation for the Reef). Through her multi-layered vitrine, which encloses photo and video works, sculptural objects, and natural materials, Laurence comments on the deteriorative effects of climate change on the natural planet and of aquatic life in particular.

Laurence exhibits both locally and internationally and has been represented in major curated and survey exhibitions including: After Eden, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney (2012); Negotiating This World (2012) NGV, Melbourne; In The Balance; Art for a Changing World, MCA Sydney (2010). Major commissioned works include: The Australian War Memorial (in collaboration with TZG Architects), Hyde Park, London; Tarkine for a World in Need of Wilderness Macquarie Bank London, In the Shadow, Sydney 2000 Olympic Park; Waterveil, CH2 Building for Melbourne City Council, Elixir, Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan; and Memory of Lived Spaces, T3 Terminal Changi Singapore.

Feature image: Janet Laurence, Verdant Studio (2003), courtesy Dominik Mersch Gallery and the artist.

Special thanks to event partner Rogue Society.