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LauraJ
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Exhibiting
My work uses neuroscience together with sources from human history and industry to explore the collision of biology and culture. I work with stoneware, pressing the tools and trash of everyday life into clay, augmenting the indentions with pigment, and rearranging the soft clay into MRIs of the human brain and sculptures called "urban fossils".
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Narrative

When I received a complete set of MRIs of my brain in 2011, it seemed like new terrain. Neuroscience became my entry into science, history, and culture, where I investigate a wide range of sources that speak to who we are, where we come from, and why we are the way we are. DNA, phytoplankton, and neurons: not only do these structures code for physical expression, supply the oxygen we breathe, and give rise to thought, but I am drawn to their pattern and symmetry. Maps, math, music, and machines: these cultural sources elucidate how we read, analyze, and interpret.

My work explores this collision of biology and culture.

Stampings of industrial products into clay are a metaphor for the imprint of technology onto human structures. My prints -- with neural mappings and multiple layers of data lost and accumulated -- underscore the cellular fragility of memory and mind.

BRAIN SCAPES series

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) allows scientists to safely peer into the living, thinking human brain. A deep interest in biology and structure drew me to human MRI slices taken from the axial direction, horizontal to the upright body. In this work, I’ve merged MRI scans with clay because clay, like the brain, is plastic and malleable. Into slabs of clay I’ve pressed tools and gadgets from industry and technology and heightened these impressions with pigment. Once fired to 2040 degrees Fahrenheit, the dented ceramic comes to resemble bio scapes marked by culture. The digital brain scans, combined with the scarred geologic material, become a metaphor for the plasticity and impressionability of mind.

URBAN FOSSIL series

Inspired by geometry and human proportion, these sculptures are formed through the curvature of two-dimensional planes. The work imagines an archeologist finding stately forms pocked with the tools and trash of everyday life. Pure ceramic pigments and an earthen palette evoke prehistory while the pressings of industrial waste elicit the flawed beauty of the contemporary moment. The series explores the themes of loss, stillness, and the passage of time.

Current Work
Work image 1
Urban Fossil XV
Work image 2
Urban Fossil XV
Work image 3
Urban Fossil XIV, XV (side view)
Websites and Social Media
Upcoming Events

2018 Left Coast Annual

April 13 - May 20, 2018

Sanchez Art Center

1220-B Linda Mar Blvd, Pacifica, CA 94044

Opening Reception: Friday, April 20, 7-9pm

Juror Talk and Awards Presentation: Sunday, May 20, 3pm

Two clay brains are among 50 works (out of 898 entries) selected by juror Claudia Schmuckli of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco to be included in the 2018 Left Coast Annual at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica.

Our Cosmic Brain

January 11 - March 31, 2018

NYU Langone Art Gallery

Adjacent to the Joan and Joel Smilow Research Center

550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016

A two-person show featuring work by Laura Jacobson and Julia Buntaine inspired by neuroscience and celebrating the universe within our brain. Curated by Katherine Meehan, the show runs concurrently with The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal at NYUs Grey Art Gallery.

MRI

April 6 - May 4, 2018

Access Gallery

909 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204

First Friday: April 6, 2018 5pm-9pm

Meet the Artists: April 20, 2018

First Friday: May 4, 2018 5pm-9pm

MRI is the title and theme of this show at Access Gallery in Denver, and will include works by California artists Laura Jacobson and Elizabeth Jameson, Colorado University Professor George Rivera, and Colorado artist Judy Gardner.  

General Info
Laura
Jacobson
Address
Palo Alto
CA
94301
Studio Address
United States
Phone Contact
Membership
Clay
Exhibiting
2017