Leaning into feelings of vulnerability, helplessness, and confinement, Lauryl Gaumer creates sculptures with glass, metal, and plastic to try to ascertain understanding within herself and, to the extent possible, the world. [The world? The universe? This isn’t quite it. “On a universal scale”?] Her practice is an opportunity for reflection and means to discern harmony and disharmony within the herself and society.
In the Unwearable Series, Lauryl draws inspiration from medieval torture devices and, using glass and metal to adorn the female body, creates contemporary devices that decorate, even as they confine and constrict. When the fragility of glass interacts with the rigidity of metal and tenderness of flesh, an intriguing tension is formed. Fascinated by this relationship and how it mirrors internal struggles to conform in a world that doesn't always make sense, Lauryl's work aims to develop discourse between cultural conditioning, which normalizes domestic and docile roles for women, maintains the unrealistic standards of beauty the media promotes, and distracts us from discovering ourselves.
A woman’s body can feel like a cage, where identity is predetermined by society and women are perpetually judged by how closely they conform to these norms. This series prompts the audience to address the complexity of the systemic gender conditioning and to rethink a woman’ s role in society.
The addition of plastic is new within Lauryl’s work. She is interested in the ways plastics and glass can become indiscernible, in the seemingly infinite supply of single use plastics, in the way plastics are discarded, only to continue existing. There is something metaphorical in this… something melancholy. What is sustainable? What is helpful? In what ways do WE unknowingly cause harm? How do we know right from wrong in a world of grays? Considering the overwhelming impact of humankind’s use (and abuse) of plastic is new territory in Lauryl’s work leading her into new practices, new exploration, new insights and new ways of seeing previously hidden truths.
HER RECENT WORK EXPLORES BREAKING SOCIAL IDEALS THROUGH DIVERSE REPRESENTATION IN A SERIES OF WEARABLE GLASS BODICES. MOSTLY COLLABORATIVE, THE WORK EXPRESSES THE EXPERIENCES OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE WORKING TO REDEFINE RESTRICTIVE STANDARDS OF BEAUTY AND SEXUALITY. BY WORKING COLLABORATIVELY SHE HOPES TO EXPAND THE VISUAL AESTHETIC OF THIS SERIES, AS WELL AS CREATE A MORE REALISTIC REPRESENTATION OF THE FEMALE FORM.