About The Artist
My work is inspired by magic, ritual, and an exploration of the concept of the uncanny. I am interested in the mind’s attempts to make sense of confusing or contradictory stimuli, and my artistic process tends to hover on the border between unpredictability and stability, attraction and repulsion, fragility and strength, reflectivity and transparency.
Within this exploration of ritual and magic, the identity of material has become increasingly important. In my sculptural and installation work, I am fascinated by the associations of hair, dust, bones, wax, and other signifiers of memory and the body. The beauty of these materials hinge on their uncanniness, their simultaneous attraction and repulsion, and their connections to issues of transformation.
My process and aesthetic draws from many sources: skin and transparency…Dust and bones…Old Victorian scientific apparatus. Hair wreaths, lockets, and memory. Corsets. Zoetropes. Reliquaries. Marionettes. Old flying machines. Anything that is elaborate, intricate, full of purpose, and yet doesn’t work. The fragile, the broken, the defunct, the wonky, the tragic and the absurd.
In my glassworking, I am further intrigued by the concept of the vessel, and my blown glass works refer to the role of the vessel in myth and ritual. The goblet, the hourglass, the reliquary, the urn, the potion bottle; all have a rich visual history and association with a magical animistic (un)reality. I seek, in my artistic investigations, to evoke this sense of unreality and strangeness, to reconnect with old myth and ritual, and to awaken a sense of strange and curious wonder.
Laurie Kain was born in Buffalo, NY and found her passion for visual language at an early age. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design (1999-2003) with the intention of studying painting and soon became fascinated with strangeness and beauty of molten glass. “Everything I had been fascinated by in paint – its liquidity, its responsiveness to motion, its saturation and its transparency – seemed to be embodied in molten glass, with the extra dimension of process. Glass is shaped using one’s entire body, gravity and one’s breath. The poetic implications were stunning.”
While in school, she was fortunate enough to study under Jocelyne Prince, Michael Scheiner, Dan Clayman, and other noted glass sculptors. She also completed an internship/artist assistantship with the internationally renowned installation sculptor Eve Andree Laramee. At this time, she began to explore concepts of memory and loss, and to consider glass as a vessel for residue and artifact. She also began to draw from the strange aesthetic of the Victorian era – machinery, scientific and nautical apparatus, and fashion. Upon graduation, she moved to Seattle, Washington to further her studies in the North American capital of glassmaking. During this time, in additon to teaching, she worked alongside many notable glass artists, including Brian Brenno, Lenoard Whitfield, Charles Friedman, and Beth Fishman. She also worked as a teaching assistant and staff member at Pilchuck Glass School.
In 2006, she moved to the stunning Methow Valley, east of the North Cascade mountains, and is continually inspired and awed by the remote, magnificent landscape and the relative solitude. She currently works with Jeremy Newman and Allison Ciancibelli at Twisp River Glass, plays with old clock cogs and gears, practices Buddhism, blows glass, grinds lenses, collects hairballs, twigs, old machine parts and coyote bones, and glues things to other things. She lives in a funky old farmhouse with a woodstove, nine cats and a couple of chickens.