Ma Face - Laurelin Gilmore.jpg

laurelin gilmore




I approached this project as an opportunity to make art that feels like it could swallow the viewer. I always tell people I feel like a different artist in different mediums. What I want from an oil painting is very different from what I want from a drawing, and sculpture is even further left of center. This installation feels like one of my sculptures which are, admittedly, my least-accessible work. By that I mean I use the three dimensions to explore the comic nature of my darkest psychology to both invite and unnerve. This installation is specifically an opportunity to examine the advent of my childhood anxieties. 


The focal point of the room is a brightly lit easy chair, ottoman and lamp covered in stuffed animals. This is the safe space. As we move out of the center light, we find the carpeted walls are sliding away to reveal an expanse of deep space out of which loom five featureless long-limbed creatures. These are the embodiment of the faceless free-floating anxiety that looms behind the safe space, just out of sight. The old adage that people are not afraid of the dark, they're afraid of what's in the dark is here addressed. They're soft, though, and actually make for very comfortable body pillows. I mean, of course they're comfortable. Above the chair is a paper lantern covered in a multicolored rainbow array of paper spikes. The idea is two-fold: soft things made hard and hard things made soft, but also my relationship to my own queer identity. Make of that what you will. In the corner is a version of my pet television, which was a very good friend to most latchkey kids. 


The outside of the room is intended to feel like a fleshy monster made of unassuming carpet, again returning to the idea of art that devours the viewer. The circus and freak show posters perhaps speak for themselves. This is an attraction. Come witness. Be amazed. Find the Egress. I specifically used all upcycled, found, and pre-owned elements for the piece as a personal desire to leave a smaller footprint.