Laura Lamiel (born in 1948) is best known for her poetic installations in the form of delimited spaces in which materials and objects charged with emotional resonance are arranged according to an enigmatic logic, but she has maintained a practice of drawing throughout her career.
Some of them have recently appeared in the artist’s installations, first in tension with other objects, then more independently. The development of a piece entitled Forclose (2018) was notably the occasion for Laura Lamiel to elaborate a series of motifs whose production she describes thus: “I decided to unfold this piece (Forclose) and I started to make drawings that took on their autonomy. I made them, for several months, late at night. I had the energy, but I had to wait for it to arrive, I had to have the right gesture. I prepare the inks and the papers, and then there comes a moment in the night when it’s right, I can go, and it can last two or three hours. I started to draw a whole vocabulary of languages; I rushed through sheets of paper, smearing them (…), opening my mouth, making heads, rhizomes, plants come out.” (Interview with François Piron, in LL, Paris, Paraguay Press, 2019). It emerges a certain violence of this impulsive set also constituted by lungs, hands, faces taken in interlacing features. A violence that is accentuated by the systematic use of a red ink that evokes the energy of blood.
This asceticism of work, the artist had already practiced in a series of large circular drawings exhibited in 2013 as part of the exhibition Ostinato, dessin, musique : interactions, in Namur. They take the form of myriad pen strokes ritually aligned to form concentric circles. Entitled 3 years, 3 months, 3 days, in reference to the traditional duration of the retreat that aspiring lamas must make in Thibetan Buddhism, these drawings resemble spiritual exercises based on repetition (such as the recurrent chanting of the sacred syllables of the Buddhist mantra Om mani padme hum).
A third series of works entitled W’s Eyes shows pairs of eyes emerging from a haze of black crosshatching. These eyes that Laura Lamiel calls “owl eyes” are part of a research on the theme of the double, the W can indeed be read as the letter V accompanied by its symmetrical reflection – just as the artist’s initials, LL, can evoke this eminently problematic question of reflection and double. They were exhibited in installations deployed in 2019 at the CRAC of Sète, installations that exploited the games of reflections and occultation of one-way mirrors.
These drawings by Laura Lamiel are exhibited in collaboration with the Marcelle Alix gallery (Paris).