Laura's practice focuses on themes of identity and empowerment through body, architecture and site. She experiments with performance and fine art methods through improvisation, visual art, puppetry and dance - devising, directing and coordinating solo and collaborative works. She seeks activation of non-traditional performance spaces and develops characters, alter-ego's and sculptures to improvise, devise and manipulate the object, puppet or self.
Laura's works combine with the narrative of the site to challenge the perceptions of how and where art can be delivered. Costume, puppets, sculptures or objects are designed and constructed with the location in mind and her work engages with audiences across a variety of situations including the theatre, indoor/outdoor events, gallery, television or web.
Through a Bachelor of Performing Arts - Theatre (1997), Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (2010), a Certificate IV in Contemporary Dance (2014) and professional development activities, Laura has deeply investigated the disciplines of fine art, visual theatre and performance. She explores methods to hybridise or challenge the perceived boundaries of each discipline.
Professionally she has worked broadly across the arts sector, as artist, performer and/or puppeteer, creating and contributing to independent, commercial and experimental works and initiatives, with Tasmanian theatre companies and art organisations including Contemporary Art Tasmania CAT, Salamanca Arts Centre, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Theatre Council for Tasmania, Devonport Regional Gallery, is theatre ltd, Second Storey and Big Monkey.
Key highlights and professional achievements include devising new innovative work and touring nationally and internationally as performer and puppeteer during 2004-2010 with Terrapin Puppet Theatre. She has participated in a series of relational works by Dr Elizabeth Woods and Kevin Leong from InSitu including There's going to be a wedding and you're all invited! (2010), Country Women's Association Beauty Pageant (2011) and Porphyry's Gnat (2012).
The experiences from these works encouraged her to consider more experimental and socially relevant pathways through her artmaking. Through the Salamanca Arts Centre’s HyPe! program she was supported to develop work towards innovative, contemporary hybrid performance in Tasmania through Creative Shot (2013), the 2015 HyPe! program and SAC’s intensive workshop program The Art of Risk and Challenge.
In 2011 she directed Ivan & Heather Morison’s puppet show Mr Clevver - a troupe of hand-made puppets performed in a travelling caravan across Tasmanian northwest back-roads as part of Contemporary Art Space Tasmania’s (CAST) international collaboration.
Independently, Laura has developed characters for roving opportunities at national festivals, galleries and other events. Face to face and raw moments of vulnerability, always experimenting with new material, she seeks new ways to engage with audiences. Key characters included Pierre Salvatore who delivers portraiture classes for children, Space travellers Space Pop and Space Dog, and the divine Rhonda Voo who performs for herself and as an advocate for independent artists.
Other highlights include a self-funded professional development in Stop-Motion Animation Puppetry In Film (Czech Republic, 2013). She received a professional development scholarship for the Eugene O’Neill National Puppetry Conference (USA, 2014) and developed original performance works under the guidance of Pam Arciero (USA), Alice Gottschalk and Raphael Mürle (Germany). She was a included in a creative development at the Victorian College of the Arts (2005) led by puppetry artist Petr Matasek (Czech Republic) and participated in the professional development workshop of Warhorse, Victorian Arts Centre (2013). From 2014-2015 she devised and performed with “soul-jammers” Second Echo Ensemble for their Rite of Spring creative development.
An invitation to collaborate with Dr Sean Lowry and Ilmar Tamire led to a remote site-specific contribution in The Mirror (2016) for The Ghosts of Nothing project. This has led to another invite to collaborate within this project for a site-specific performance at The Tench, Tasmania (November, 2017).
Laura coordinates and leads various workshops for all ages from improvisational performance, puppet-making and manipulation, organic and environmental sculpture. She believes creativity is innate within each individual and that it takes a little encouragement and practice to build skills in lateral thinking.
Laura is also a judge in the Physical Theatre Panel for the Theatre Council for Tasmania's Tasmanian Theatre Awards.
For project updates visit her calendar or get in touch.