With the expansion of information it is evident that we are extremely limited in our knowledge of the reality of existence. I structure my ideas of existence based on information that is in a constant state of flux. In my work I view this lack of known truth as a void, subject to gaps in information and human sensory limitations.
I use this concept of void as a way to communicate the absence of knowledge and our existence within this absence. It describes the feeling that comes from our inability to process information and ultimately our inability to cope with the unknown. The way I represent these voids in my work involves a physical process of exclusion, such as a wood panel that is ‘missing’ the interior section or a floor installation with portions that are left out. This process parallels my life experience in that it describes my interaction and experiences with the unknown. When I consider the possibilities elicited by major changes in life, a void is created grieving what could have been and what was lost.
In my current practice, I communicate primarily through large scale drawings created by repeatedly layering chalk and acrylic washes to form complex visual line networks. The process of layering multiple drawings on a single surface while simultaneously covering up or losing other portions of the drawings, for me becomes a way to compound the ever complex emotions associated with loss and existing within the unknown states.
Laura Kent is a mixed media artist from Oklahoma City. As a visual artist she primarily creates large-scale drawings and sculptures that question “truths” and explore the processing of complex emotions.
She recently returned to Oklahoma City after completing her Master of Art Therapy degree from Western Sydney University in Australia. While there she completed her clinical training in art therapy and became a registered Art Therapist (AThR) with ANZACATA (Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association). Through these experiences she has gained interest in exploring art therapy from a postmodern feminist lens that questions “truths” and challenges limiting assumptions.
Prior to studying in Australia she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she received two awards of excellence from the College of Fine Arts and Design. In this program she investigated the use of visual art to communicate feelings that she was unable to express in other forms. After graduation she volunteered through a hospice, where she used visual art to aid those experiencing cognitive decline in local nursing homes and memory care facilities. Through this experience, she knew that she wanted to use visual art not only to help herself process emotions but also to support others.
In 2015 she assisted in proposing a new program to the Arts Council of Oklahoma City. The program became All Access Arts: Creative Aging and she co-taught seventeen classes at twelve different facilities in this program for two years. The program continues to bring art classes to the residents of local assisted living and memory care facilities.