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Converse Shortlist: Laura Buckley

Introducing the penultimate shortlisted artist in our series of five interviews with Converse talents...

Laura Buckley, the penultimate in our series of six interviews with the short listed Converse/Dazed Emerging Artist Award entrants, creates film and video installations using fractured imagery juxtaposed with kinetic sculpture. Buckley is inspired by observing different cultures on her travels, along with the strong influence of her two young daughters. The girls are often in attendance on project shoots and Buckley describes their presence as “at times becoming part of the work through their background activity or voice”. Describing her practice as a “multi-layered referential conversation between component materials” Buckley explores the physicality of the elements she uses to create her works and combines this with abstract imagery, which can lean towards the psychedelic. The results offer the viewer an all-encompassing experience that challenges their perception of exactly what it is that they are looking at.

Dazed Digital: What first interested you in creating art?
Laura Buckley: I was motivated by the satisfaction achieved through creating a drawing or painting, and also I liked that it is a solitary activity allowing for good headspace. I originally thought I might become a designer of some sort.

DD: How did you learn your technique?
Laura Buckley: I’ve been working with reflective surfaces for many years; I started by integrating glass and mirrors into painting installations during my BA. During my postgraduate course at Chelsea I was uncomfortable with the immateriality of video projection, so I created wooden structures to project onto or out of. When editing film I usually use the cut-up technique. I like that element of chance, and find that when I try to control things too much they generally don’t work out.

DD: Which artists inspire you?
Laura Buckley: Daniel Buren’s early work resonated with me when I was moving towards my current practice.  I loved the Anthony McCall 2007 show at the Serpentine and I also relate to some of Brian Eno’s musical techniques and ideas. I plan to work with sound more extensively in the future.

DD: Where do you get your inspiration?
Laura Buckley: I do a lot of filming on holiday; I like how the qualities of a different country can inform a work and I tend to see things more openly when I’m away from home. My children also constantly inspire me; I love watching how they discover and perceive the world.

DD: What is your creative process?
The two main elements of my work are kinetic sculpture and video projection, and I integrate both to create light installations, I work with wood, metal, mirror and Perspex. There is always an element of experimentation and improvisation during the install, where I try a variety of configurations before deciding on the final layout.

DD: Can you explain the ideas behind the work that you submitted to the competition?
Laura Buckley: I submitted KZN – Suspended Hexagon.  The title is the abbreviation of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the region in South Africa where the footage was filmed.  The film is a montage of scenes including a window of obscured glass, fragmented upward views of the sky through a derelict silo, and an old crazy golf course.  I edited the crazy golf footage as a simple, graphic continuation of a pathway or maze. It appears to resemble something virtual and has the style of being computer generated but is simultaneously shabby and obviously physical.
I usually work more with sound but this is a quiet and contemplative piece.  The moving refractions have been likened to fleeting memories or thought patterns.

DD: What would it mean to win?
Laura Buckley: It would be a big achievement to be awarded the prize by the judging panel, however I am happy to have been short-listed and to show my work at Stephen Friedman gallery with a wonderful group of artists.

DD: What would do you do with the prize?
Laura Buckley: I would invest in the fabrication of some large structures for my solo show in Dublin later this year.  And some of it would help with childcare costs, allowing me more much needed time in the studio.

Come back to Dazed Digital next Thursday to find about our second Converse/Dazed Emerging Artist Award 2010 finalist...