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Creative Research Lab

SHIFT (MFA1) - March 2008

Laura Turner

Laura Turner
Window Shade , 2007
digital inkjet print
30"h x 24 "w

When I enter a room, I immediately look around and try to find evidence of the actions that have taken place in that room. Dirty dishes, beer bottles, discarded shoes and open books are all pieces of the visual puzzle that a space creates, and clues to the lives lived there. Rather than make a straightforward portrait of a person or an action, I prefer to inspect the ways that they have affected the space around them. Sometimes this means including a part of the body (and rarely a portrait), but more often it includes personal effects. These people are still the objects, affected by their surroundings, much as the rooms are the objects for the people themselves and are affected by them. How do we affect our space, and how does the world affect us? We must question perspective, constructing and deconstructing our surroundings, to understand where we belong.

I am attracted to the beauty of a space first and foremost -- the quality of light in the scene, the colors and textures of furniture and walls, all these carry importance. This beauty serves as a point of departure for me when making an image. It should, ideally, be the starting point for the viewer as well, beginning a journey through the image, which starts out with this feeling of simple, visual pleasure, but becomes more complex as one examines the image more closely. This is a way of actually extending time within the image -- something like making a moving image out of a still one, except that all of the movement takes place through the eyes and the mind of the viewer. In this way, a successful image can become more than a moment; it can begin to create a different world altogether.