me the veil is
the space between perception and memory.
Still space, slow space.
A dissolving membrane, a hesitation.
A way of looking within the world rather than at it.
Plants Eye View(in the Tarkine, Tasmania), 2013
GLOVER PRIZE WINNER 2013
duraclear, acrylic, dibond mirror
120 x 173
Judges comments: This work focusses on the mystery of the Tarkine wilderness, which Janet Laurence has visited several times. The work picks up on the 19th century fascination with botanical specimens, and at times the exotic nature of vegetation.
As an artist she has had extended interest in the role of the museums as part of the 18th-19th century Enlightenment passion for discovery, collection and preservation of specimens. Her work references early daguerreotypes and stereoscopic imagery, achieved through her use of the diptych format and mirrored, reflective surfaces. Whilst the work has these fascinating 19th century associations, its method of construction places it firmly in the 21st century.
The result is a truly romantic, poetic work that through this alchemy of content and construction – and with its reflective surfaces – engages the viewer directly. Just as one has to move a daguerreotype to fully see the image, so the viewer has to move before this work. It is as though we enter right into the landscape and become "one with nature". It thus becomes almost a real environment and we share the artist's delight in examining the microscopic details of the vegetation in the Tarkine.
The work becomes more than an illusion. Significantly it represents Janet Laurence's deep concern with the ecology of this special place and the need to ensure its preservation now and into the future.
Dr Frances Lindsay
Dr Peter Hill
of an artist Janet Laurence wins Archibald
John Beard's Archibald-winning portrait of
artist Janet Laurence
Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park
Zulaikha Greer in association with artist Janet Laurence.
Peter Tonkin and Janet
Minister John Howard centre - at the Australian
Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in
of the War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London
November 11, 2003 11.PM
Everyone was there, The Queen, John Howard, Tony Blare and Heads of
State, The Royal Family, Heads
of Church, 28 Australian Veterans
including 95 year old Edith Eadie, Dukes Knights Lords Princes
Princesses, The Royal Guard, The Royal Band and Royal Ladies
Gentlemen accompanied by thousands of Hyde Park onlookers. It was the
11AM of the 11th Month 2003 in London and 11PM in Sydney and architects
Tonkin Zulaikha Greer
and artist Janet Laurence are
present as the
unveiling of the War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London commenced.
It was all very proper in that very English way, unsurprising
considering it's the home of the Queen of England and well practised in
their tradition I sensed in anticipation this was going to be the real
thing, the original
traditional English tea-party. The wall was powerful and
magnetic (actually last night it appeared there was a light from within
dancing alive in the waterfall - but this was daylight no lights to
be seen) with a red carpet in a green lush setting with a podium in a
royal cake setting.
The wall gently arcs with curved layers that
step to a kneel
scooping the waterfall-ing into
the acoustic in a state of
readiness for the traditional 2 minute silence ... Big Ben preambled
eleven "Bongs" chimed, a canon was shot, as
people stood in silent rememberance to be awoken with a mighty roar as
a jet flyover saluted with a sonic boom.
And then to the speeches, John Howard, The Queen, Tony Blair, the
Principal Chaplains thank God, God the Son and God the Spirit to
introduce "Oh Valiant Hearts" sung by Evon Kenny. At this point I
pitied all who were there that had to listen, of course I just turned
off the sound. More praise to God "Prayers for Peace" and a then poem
"The Last to Leave" by Leon Gellert, the official wreath laying by the
Queen and the Duke, Duke of Kent, Howard and the wife, Tony Blair then
the leader of the Opposition. The "Ode of Rememberance", "We Will
Remember Them" leading to the trumpet of the "Last Post" and silence as
the flags are at half mast only to be awoken and raised high.
Queen said it was "magnificent memorial",
Blair "imposing memorial" and yes in such a prominate spot - the
London - it will also stand for the bond that existed then as it
stands today, 85 years later, of our two great nations - and
magnificent it is and every bit
appropriate to stand and commemorate this shared bond. Everything was
correct even the weather was still, giving dutiful silence as the
waterfall-ing ever replenishing the memory of men not forgotten also
projected mens voices in respect and prayer.
After the speeches and praise to God, the music swells the Queens
Anthum "God Save the Queen" with the Royal Band and BBC's stereo was
very pleasant to hear as John Howard sings along very pleased to plant
this his mark and also commemorate his father and his father's father
who both fought in the first world war. The music segwayed
beautifully into "Advance Australia Fair" sounding very much like
"why was she born so beautiful" which was almost Stevie Wonder-ish and
The ceremony came to a close. The wall has some colour now as the
flowers and floral wreaths brighten up the stark grays, a much needed
memorial set in stone
first permanent memorial in London
marking the sacrifice of the
1.5 million Australians who fought beside their British comrades in two
world wars was suggested as far back as the end of World War I, but the
idea never "quite got off the ground", according to Governor-General
not until July 2000 that Prime
Minister John Howard and his
British counterpart, Tony Blair, agreed to support the ambitious
that decision, the Australian War
Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in
London has encountered a number of problems that almost derailed the
plan. In June, it was revealed that the project would cost $2.5million
more than initially intended.
$9million project had to meet its
November deadline and
Australian stonemasons worked for 10 hours a day, six days a week under
Pieter Boer, the managing director of Sydney-based Stoneplus.
the visible components of the
memorial come from Australia, and
all the stone work was assembled by Australians. Other contracts were
let in Britain, including those for excavation, drainage, piling and
concrete structures. The entire design is Australian, including the
electricals and hydraulics, but all services have been installed by
memorial design features a long, curving
wall of green-grey
Australian granite from Jerramungup in Western Australia. Following an
invitation-only design competition, approval was gained early in 2003
for the winning proposal by the Australian architectural firm Tonkin
Zulaikha Greer in association with artist Janet Laurence. TZG's
work includes the design of the Australian Vietnam Forces Memorial in
Anzac Parade, Canberra, and the Tomb of the Unknown Australian soldier
within the Australian War Memorial in the nation's capital.
Follow this link for
the full story:
new memorial has been designed by Sydney architectural firm Tonkin
Zulaikha Greer and artist Janet Laurence. The design was one of four
submitted in a limited design competition considered by the Australian
Government from an initial field of 12 Australian firms invited to
submit expression of interest.
Zulaikha Greer's past work includes the design of the Australian
Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra and the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier within the Australian War Memorial.
Memorial is scheduled for a dedication ceremony on Remembrance Day, 11
November 2003, the 85th anniversary of Armistice Day. Beyond 2003, the
Memorial will form the focus for the Anzac Day Dawn Service in London
each April, an event that is expected to be attended by thousands of
London, the proposed site for the Australian War Memorial, London.
perspective impression of memorial. C3D Imaging Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Laurence has for
decades explored the properties of the natural
world within her art. Laurence's practice is characterised by the
incorporation of diverse media including glass, lead, ash, minerals,
oxides, wax and fur. Increasingly produced in response to specific
sites and environments, her sculptural and installation works sit
comfortably within the parallel contexts of museological, architectural
and environmental display.
works make reference to organic and inorganic realms, and the slippage
of one state into another. A long-standing interest in the
interconnection of the living and non-living underpins the works,
expressed alchemically by the transformation of matter into substance.
Memory, history and perception form underlying themes, notions of
material transformation paralleled by evocations of lived experience
and the passing of time. As a metaphor for the ever-changing state of
the world around us, Laurence's art is insistently ambiguous, its cool,
sculptural presentation mediated by lingering traces of humanity.
Janet Laurence strives to inform
her views of
art in society and art relating to history and the environment. She is
interested in presenting art as something more than decorative or
Spot, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1990 Lunami
Gallery, Australia-Japan exchange, Tokyo, Japan 1992 Seibu
Tokyo, Japan; Rare, City Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria 1993
Contemporary Art, Hamilton, New Zealand; The Measure of Light,
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland 1994 Gallery APA,
Japan; Lunami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 1995 Anna Schwartz Gallery,
Melbourne, Victoria 1996 States of Matter, Michael Milburn
Brisbane, Queensland; Less Stable Elements, University Gallery,
Newcastle, NSW 1997 Unfold, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW; Gallery APA,
Japan; Ph, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria 2000
Transpiration, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney, NSW; Muses, Ian
Potter Museum, University of Melbourne, Victoria
Australian Perspecta, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW 1988 Abstraction by
degree, Milburn + Arte Brisbane; 200 Years of Australian Drawing,
Australian Drill Hall Gallery, ANU, Canberra, ACT 1990 Tokyo
Connection, Tokyo, Japan; Abstraction, AGNSW, Sydney; 1991
Reference: Aspects of Feminism in Art, The Wharf, Sydney, NSW 1991
Synthesis:Art + Architecture, Bond Stores, Sydney, NSW 1994 Boundary
Rider: Biennale of Sydney, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW; Poetics of Immanence,
Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, NSW and touring South Australian
regional galleries 1996 Systems End, curated show travelling in
and Korea; 1996-7 Spirit and Place, Museum of Contemporary Art
NSW 1997 Global Art, Carpediem Gallery, Bangkok Thailand;
Perspecta: Between Art and Nature, S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW;
Innenseite, Kassell, Germany 'The Infinite Space: Woman, Minimalism and
the Sculptural Object , The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of
Melbourne, VIC 1999 Cinderella's Gems: Art and the Intellectual
Missile, touring Queensland, NSW and Victoria; Art Chicago 1999,
Chicago, USA; Home and Away: The Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art
Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand 2000 Sydney 2000 Olympic
Design of the
Millennium, Royal Institute of British Architects, London and touring
to Customs House Sydney, NSW
Building, The Ginza, Tokyo, Japan 1993 Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier, Canberra ACT collaboration with Tonkin Zulaikha Architects 1994
Edge of the Trees, sculptural
installation for the Museum of
Sydney, in collaboration with Fiona Foley; 1995 Chronicle I-V,
and Weekly Times Building Southbank Melbourne, VIC 1997 Olympic
Lausanne Switzerland, collaboration with Jisuk Han, for Australian
Exhibition Space 1997-' 49 Veils, Central Synagogue Bondi
windows in collaboration with Jisuk Han 'Picture the Dark Face of the
River, Department of Environment, Canberra, ACT 1999 Veil of
collaboration with Jisuk Han, Sydney Sculpture Walk Sydney NSW;
Accretion, ANZ Bank Sydney NSW; Stilled Lives, Museum Victoria
Melbourne VIC 2000 Chapel for Australian Catholic University Melbourne
VIC in collaboration with Julie Rrap 2000 In the Shadow,
College Vermont, USA 1983 Visual Arts Board, Australia
Council; VAB Travel Grant, Paretaio, Italy 1988 Visual
Australia Council; Studio Grant, Tokyo, Japan 1996 Rockefeller
Foundation residency, Bellagio, Italy; Newcastle University,
artist-in-residence 1996-98 Australia Council 2-year Fellowship
Macgeorge Fellowship, The University of Melbourne, VIC.
Janet Laurence lives
and works in Sydney and is a trustee of the Art Gallery
of New South Wales.