about the artist
Laura J. Lawson is a transdisciplinary 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.
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.