Overstory / Understory
New paper collage works by Laura W. Adams
Opening Event May 6th 5-7 pm
The life of a forest begins with its trees. Trees provide food, shelter, shade and homes to a myriad of species. We as humans rely upon trees to create food, oxygen and materials for building our lives. We also rely on trees to provide us with respite - a walk in the woods can cure a myriad of mental and physical ills. New science has recently confirmed the secret and previously unknown life of trees - their ability to communicate with each other.
In this series, I am focusing on the hidden life amongst the trees - the inhabitants of the overstory and of the understory. For these works I have created an idealized world for the creatures that live in the forest. As if you had asked the creatures, “If I could create the perfect world for you, what would that world be?” The answer I get is a world devoid of human interference, filled with native plants and flowers. The creatures commune in the forest with the trees and with each other.
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I have been an avid bird watcher and hiker for many years. My artwork reflects the joy I experience in nature and my spiritual journey through nature. I have been inspired by many artists, most notably the collages of Matisse, the watercolors of Audubon, the colorful mosaics and paintings of Klimt and the sense of self and purpose of O’Keeffe.
My artistic process is unique. I use paper and a clear acrylic glue to create my work. I do not use paint – I use the colors and textures and patterns of a variety of papers to create my work. I use many layers of paper, sometimes 15-20 different layers, to achieve the effects I am seeking. The finished work often, because of the many layers, has a bas-relief and a texture that is not evident from digitized images. The papers I use come from around the world. Many of the papers I use are mulberry based papers from India, China, Japan and Nepal. My favorite papers are the beautiful Japanese Washi papers that are used for origami. I also favor colorful book binding papers from Italy, as well as the textured fibrous papers from Mexico. I have been working in this medium for over 20 years, and it has taken me these many years to master the process.