Praxis Fellow, 2018
Laura Yurko is a Cleveland-based artist whose work primarily consists of highly saturated textiles and figural paintings. She graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2017 and has since worked as the fellow at Praxis Fiber Workshop and as the Marketing Intern at Heights Arts. Her work has been exhibited in the Cleveland area since 2015, in galleries such as Hedge, The Reinberger Gallery, SPACES, and Forum.
This body of work explores artistic process through visual metaphor. The biomorphic forms and images throughout the work allude to an underwater ecosystem, where the evolution of these imaginary creatures mimic the development of craftsmanship. Multiple fiber processes, including felting, crocheting, direct application dyeing, block printing, weaving, tapestry, embroidery, and spinning, are presented as individual pieces that morph together into multi-textured forms. The continual perfection and discovery within learning a craft can be observed, similarly to the evolution of an ecosystem. Both take time to take root and both involve a common influencing factor that equally effects the multiple components. In biology, that common factor is the environment, whereas in art it is the artist. Vestigial motifs will appear throughout the work as they are transformed into the next generation of form and application of technique. The form develops, and the thought changes, one not leading the other but steadily growing simultaneously.
By using this metaphor as a guideline in making the themes further mimic each other. These works all share a similar treatment to the color palette and general shape language. The palette recalls a synthetic or exaggerated aquatic environment, involving highly saturated colors alongside more murky, desaturated colors made through overlapping and intertwining complimentary colors. This combination creates a contrast that is visually appealing and repulsive at the same time, not dissimilar to the wonder and fear of creatures that come from the depths of the ocean.