Laura Canty - Winner
My approach to this sketchbook challenge was to attempt to incorporate a wide range of techniques and materials, to create a varied and dynamic work as a whole. I decided to utilise the option of incorporating the two pages per day/prompt, to eradicate empty white space and to heighten the visual impact as each page was turned. Within my sketchbook I used such materials as wool, gouache, found images, found photographs, inks, hand-patterned paper, burnt and sand-papered paper, pencil and pastels. Alongside painted and collaged elements, I also utilised stenciling, mono prints, weaving, drawing and mark making. With the challenge's overall theme of Transformation, I aimed that no two pages would appear alike, and that the viewer would be transformed to a new place with each interpretation. Certain prompts I found easier to address than others, however I found that the trickier ones proved more successful at times, as I worked through a means of resolving it. For instance, the Kernel prompt had me stumped for hours. I eventually began by making a homemade envelope out of a damaged book page, and placed corn kernels inside it, which I had dipped in acrylic paint. I shook it and then opened it up, discarding the kernels. I had an interesting series of paint marks, but not a resolved piece which would communicate appealingly for the day's submission. So I then cut out the words "Corn Kernels Dipped In Paint", incorporating both the positive and negative pieces from the process, and made a typographic collage from these parts. Whilst initially feeling challenged in finding a suitable response to the prompt, I explored an entirely intuitive route, and a sense of creative momentum was achieved. The natural science daily prompts made me think of the challenges we face as the climate is changing, and the theme of transformation informed my response to these, and the purpose to keep surprising.
Laura Canty is a local emerging artist, currently studying a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Australian National University School of Art and Design. Her practice incorporates textiles, collage, painting and printmaking. Laura is particularly drawn to collage as a vehicle for exploration, combining seemingly disparate images in order to create new meanings and visual connections. She appreciates the liberating quality that collage offers; that a composition need not be assumed as final until the glue stick commits an element to the page. And even then a piece may be further re-worked, becoming a palimpsest which becomes modified throughout various sittings or approaches. This freedom to play, and to trial, also provides Laura with the means to focus on balancing purely compositional elements. The work represented in this sketchbook reflects the type of exploratory phase which Laura enjoys so much, where elements can be wrestled with, withdrawn or added to, and where an unlikely creative path may provide an unexpected discovery. Laura is interested in politics, art, literature, gender and climate issues. She also runs Canty's Bookshop in Fyshwick with her husband.