Laura Splan’s new sculptural works
Our January/February 2009 Curtains article features the biologically inspired work of Laura Splan. Splan uses anatomical and ornamental imagery to address ideas of beauty, disease, and the body in her work. We featured Splan’s Negligee #1 and Wallpaper installation at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon. Below are additional images of her Trousseau series, of which Negligee #1 belongs. The pieces are constructed primarily out of plastic-like facial-peel-mask material. The series was commissioned for Re/Formations: Disability, Women, and Sculpture, which is on view January 15–February 26, at the Van Every/Smith Galleries of Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.
Fan (Anatomy of the Gaze) (with detail), 2008; machine embroidery with thread on cosmetic facial peel, bamboo, mixed media; 9″ x 15″ x 1″.
“Fan (Anatomy of the Gaze) is designed after a traditional bridal fan. The embroidery motif is based on the anatomy of the human retina. Rods, cones, and cells populate the radial structure of the hand fan. In the Victorian era, fans and parasols were used to communicate mostly flirtatious messages from women to their suitors. The social function of the fan is one that is dependent upon the male gaze and places him in a position of dominance in which action is left up to him. While the fan and its language have fallen out of fashion, women today have inherited or learned a subtle language of the body that caters to the male gaze.”
Handkerchief (Anatomy of Tears) (with detail), 2008; machine embroidery with thread on cosmetic facial peel; 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″.
Design of images based on the anatomy of a tear duct.
Gloves #1 (with detail), 2008; cosmetic facial peel, mixed media; 1″ x 12″ x 3 1/2″ (each glove).
Gloves #1 is cast from Splan’s own hands. The artist intended to evoke the idea of “slipping into the skin of another.”