laura j. lawson: jovian resonance
September 9 - October 14, 2023
Ro2 Art is proud to present Jovian Resonance, an exhibition of new work by Dallas-based interdisciplinary artist Laura J. Lawson. The exhibition will open September 9 and remain on view through October 14, 2023, at Ro2 Art located at 2606 Bataan St., Dallas, TX, with an opening reception to be held September 9 from 7-10pm.
In Jovian Resonance, Laura J. Lawson creates a new way of interpreting and understanding the orbital resonance of Jupiter's system of ninety-five moons. Lawson playfully visualizes the moon system’s resonance and topology, particularly the gravitational relationships between Ganymede, Europa, and Io, with references to mythology, science fiction, and art history. Each moon, ranging in scale from 2 to 48 inches in diameter, is painted on a translucent substrate with acrylic inks so that light passes through the surface of the painting. The delicacy of the surface becomes a metaphor for the act of discovery of these far off moons. The ethereal and luminous color Lawson achieves through pouring, layering, and surface manipulation makes each piece feel like a jewel; taken together, the moons become a precious collection of exquisite detail. Ultimately, Jovian Resonance frames the seemingly abstract and distant astronomical discoveries of Jupiter’s system of moons into radiant paintings that depict moments of interconnectedness, curiosity, and community.
Jovian Resonance interprets the orbital resonance in Jupiter’s system of ninety-five moons. Among these, Ganymede, Europa, and Io have spectacular and planet-like features due to their gravitational relationship with each other and with Jupiter. Essentially, for every orbit Ganymede makes, Europa makes two, and Io makes four.
These paintings on translucent acrylic celebrate the unique characteristics of these moons, including craters, magnetic fields, icy oceans, and active volcanoes. While the smaller moons are less dynamic, they bear names from Greek mythology, tying the system back to humanity, curiosity, and storytelling. The entire set of moon paintings, together in context with closeups of Jupiter, express moments of interconnectedness and community in a chaotic cosmos.
In my work, I look deeply into the environment of a world and try to tell its stories from its data. I read scientific publications and appreciate their unbiased observations, but I want to satisfy that human need for storytelling by translating what I learn into a visual experience.
I draw and paint with meticulous detail to make entire planets feel like part of a precious collection. I use translucent materials for substrates as a connection to the human pursuit of discovery: allowing light to pass through and reflect upon the painted landscape illuminates what knowledge we have of these places. Where data is missing, I fill in with other cultural associations, using color and texture to evoke various mythologies and science fiction. By using both sides of the substrate, and adding additional layered pieces, I can expose the hidden layers of planets and moons that make them so unique.
About the Artist
Laura J. Lawson is an interdisciplinary artist who connects the humanities to interstellar exploration using maps and environmental data to subvert traditional landscape art. She is a graduate of Austin College (BA) and The University of Memphis (MFA). She was awarded a residency at the Centre d’Art Marnay Art Center in Marnay-sur-Seine, France, and was selected for the first cohort of studio artists at the Cedars Union art incubator in Dallas. Her work has been shown in Vignette Art Fair, New Texas Talent XXVII, and in international juried exhibitions. Her TEDx talk at Austin College stressed the importance of better standards for time and space to do creative work. Lawson teaches art at Dallas College and Tarrant County College.