Sophia Laurie’s Notes to self explores the possible investiture(s) of an object – as memorial, testament, and entanglement. Drawing upon a collection of matrilineal jewels and family photographs, Laurie renders a belief that an object may be more. It may contain the spark of those who have held it before. These are the sense memories that Laurie clings to as she attests to a lingering presence within a familial archive.
Glass is the first element of Notes to self, and through bevelled lines Laurie adopts the contours of a jewellery box and open book – forms through which the Self is staged. Within the sculptural ciphers are watercolour fragments, translucent paintings of jewels that are slipped between glass panes. The forms are arranged as loose crucifixes and wiggling smiles – apparitions that perform an animism within the glass. It is a shaking transfiguration, one that augments a simple retelling of the personal.
The canvases of Notes to self tell a parallel story. Here, familial memory in the form of photographs are rendered in monochrome. Among the ghostly images, a ceramic pig resides alongside a travel diary, and a delicate intergenerational sensibility is unearthed – one that is tender, elusive and laced with wry humour. Held in gridded lines, the canvas performs a mimicry of commercialised photo collages, vitrines for loved ones that speak of an easier sentiment. It’s a wrought task to speak true of the family and the Self, and Laurie’s frames elude narrative logic while vying for invocation.
The mother too appears, a distant figure of adoration atop a four-leaf clover. Her enclosed arms form a vessel, a means of carrying forward the promise of our sacred selves. Within this tender image resides the possibility of communicating the Self, of carrying one to another through a language of attachment. Such is the task of Notes to self, as Laurie poses emergent gestures of the Self that ask, ‘may we be held in form?’
Sophia Laurie is currently completing a BFA at ELAM School of Fine Arts. Notes to self represents Laurie’s first solo presentation and extends an enquiry established during the course Art and the Self 245, mentored by Jon Bywater. Previous exhibitions include List, in collaboration with her brother Alex Laurie at Cathedral Cabinet (Naarm) in 2019.
Laurie’s practice currently engages tattooing and interior design alongside her practice in the visual arts.