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Laura Reeves | Jane Phillips Awardthe [...] space

11 March - 06 April 2014

The Jane Phillips Award has given me invaluable support at this early stage of my career with the bursary, studio space and mentoring. The studio at Elysium in Mansel Streethas provided a purpose built environment for me to explore my practice as a whole and made links between ideas in current and past work in a space that is practical for the purpose. The residency’s duration has enabled me to have thorough and focused period of research. 

Studio visits have included Mission Gallery director Amanda Roderick, former Mission Gallery artist in residence Sam Hasler and Phil Owen researcher at the Reading Room in Arnolfini,Bristol. The conversations have varied from questions about ‘what do I do in the studio?’ to book recommendations, essay writing, flower arranging and fantasy gardens. The bursary has supported these studio visits and buying materials from small items such as film and processing to larger items including a projector screen, Dictaphone and an iPad.  

The residency began with a photograph of John Dillwyn Llewelyn’s orchid house. Llewelyn built the first orchid house in theUKhere inSwansea. It replicated the original conditions of the South American jungles complete with heated waterfall. There are drawings and written accounts but only one photograph of this hot house. The photograph depicts a group of orchids growing on a large shelf or table with a slanted ceiling and skylight. This photograph is not a straightforward document of specimens but an example of an enthusiast’s collection; which really intrigued me. Llewelyn who was born and lived inSwanseawas one of the early pioneer photographers, experimenting with all the processes available at the time. Llewellyn often made photographs with his family, in particular his daughter.

The work and research into orchids has taken me on a journey through greenhouses, supermarkets, living rooms and meetings with orchid enthusiasts. It has been a wander through the photographical, historical and botanical. The residency has allowed me time to persue writing as a significant method of working and to realise the importance of the relationship I have with my own family that influences my work.

About | Laura Reeves

Laura Reeves grew up in the South West and moved to Cardiffto study Fine Art, Sculpture at Cardiff School of Art and Design. In 2012 Laura won the Eisteddfod Young Artist Scholarship. Shortly after she had her first solo show at Motorcade/FlashParade,Bristol and was selected for Mostyn Open 18.

Laura has begun to exhibit nationally and internationally including Chapter Arts Centre, London Art Fair, Nomas Foundation and Aid and Abet.  Laura was invited to be the first resident artist at g39’s library in Cardiff. The publication How To Start a Collection made as a result of the residency is now available from g39, Mission Gallery, The Artist Book Book Shop and Motto Books. Reeves recently presented the book at Tertulia, a salon event for art and literature atSpikeIsland,Bristol.

Upcoming in 2014 include a six week residency at Standpoint Gallery in London and a solo show at MOSTYN as part of their ‘Uprisings’ series. 


Self Portrait with Orchid (research image) 2013, 35mm slide

Carrier Bag Orchid (research image) 2013, iPhone photograph

World of Orchids (research image) 2013, found 35mm slide

A panoramic of the studio at Mansel Street

The Italian Wedding Home Movie, 2013, Performance, 15 mins approx

How To Start A Collection, 2013, 26 page publication  

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