LAURALAI WILSON - FINALIST
Lauralai is a jewellery and object maker living and working in Melbourne. After moving from the Byron Bay hinterlands to study Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT, she had the honour of being a McCraith Scholarship in Fine Art recipient and graduated in 2016 with distinction. Her practice currently focuses on contemporary jewellery, led by considered explorations of stone, sand, silicone and silver along with adaptations of raw minerals, and alterations of surface and form through chemical synthesis. Her practice aims to dispel the lacklustre nature of routine, to provide the viewer or wearer with a temporary escapism and a connection to the otherworld present in their psyche, imagination or memory. In essence her work is a scavenging of the fictitious debris of imaginary landscapes.
Based on the Touchstone, a siliceous rock that in times past was used to test the purity of gold and silver and now a term relating to quantifying the nature of a thing. These neckpieces intend to serve as talismans, anchoring and protecting the wearer from environmental influences and connecting them with an unwavering sense of self. Materiality is a unifying factor in these works - silicone, a synthesized material derived from silica, is stained and textured with sand and minerals, and serve to carry heavy pieces of the raw mineral. Weight and balance are engaged with as symbolism and in functionality, providing equilibrium with the body and grounding the wearer to their physicality. These Touchstones seek to provide a point from which to calibrate, navigate and find truth.
The potion cups are a series of vessels that are based upon a childhood game of making elixirs from petals and plants in my grandmothers garden. They speak of the boundless potential of a child's mind to imagine worlds and possibilities beyond the scope of reality. These objects are intended to spark a sense of curiosity and wonderment that is often lost in adulthood.
The Troglobite series explores the theme of the underworld. The Troglobite, an organism that lives its entire life in deep caves without the presence of light often evolves strange and wonderful features like translucent skin and a lack of eyes. This series lightheartedly draws parallels between these cave dwelling creatures and the artist working day and night in their studio, often appearing peculiar to the outside world.