Laura Wennstrom

House Hunting
quilted secondhand household textiles, pvc, light
41 x 24 x 24 in.

I am a multimedia artist, most recently making large scale sculptural installations. Drawing from painting, collage, and quilt making traditions, I create heavily saturated color compositions. I am interested in gathering found materials and objects: the cast off, the forgotten, the incidental. Through an intuitive process combining color and pattern, I find new ways to tell stories.

I primarily use found or secondhand fabric and textiles in my work. This has ecological and economic advantages, but most importantly, I am drawn to the connection that discarded materials have with their previous owner. These objects carry stories and mystery, they have access to the banal secrets and intimate everydayness of strangers. Bed sheets that have enfolded Other bodies, clothing has kept them warm, objects silently witnessed a life. Possessions and materials that have been tossed aside for unknown reasons. Risking that what someone else has left behind is worth adopting, and making into something new. Potential.

My work represents the intersection of my life with the people I encounter while honoring their experiences and trying to make sense of my own. Although my installations references blithe or playful sentiment, I create work that speaks to the socio-economic, racial, and educational disparities that occur in our communities.

In our culture of inequity, I want to use any access or privilege I carry to engage and channel my frustration and sadness over injustice into my studio practice. I am exploring the extent to which it is important for others to interpret my work with a political, social, or economic lens.

© Laura Wennstrom