San Rafael, CA
I focus on the experimentation with and exploration of documentary installation art that addresses topics like human displacement, the electoral college, the earth’s plastic waste fiasco, sexual harassment and discrimination, and now, unfortunately, a global pandemic. The intent of my art is to educate and bring awareness to issues in a way that is memorable and thought-provoking. My art explores issues that are relevant in these crazy times, it creates a historical record for future reflection and it informs and engages the community. All projects are based in thorough and, at times, excruciatingly upsetting research. Every choice I make in materials, tools and techniques is intentional and carefully designed to speak to the topic of the project. Currently, I am working on a COVID-19 project from the confines of my apartment under the Shelter-In-Place Order. I am embroidering a sphere-shaped knot for each US, CA, Bay Area and Marin County COVID-19 death onto the sheets of unfurled paper towel rolls. Each sheet represents a different day. Each roll has seven sheets exposed, thus one week’s deaths. The rolls are displayed hung on the wall with paper towel dispensers. They are in rows showing the progression of the pandemic week by week. I am limiting myself to using only the supplies and materials that I have in my apartment and am placing no online orders that could potentially put warehouse and delivery personnel in harm’s way. So, I am using paper towels as a surface because it is what I have and because it is symbolic of the supply shortages the pandemic is causing. For thread, I am unraveling turquoise Ikea towels. I found a small amount of thread left over from my other installations. I borrowed a needle and sanitized it. I borrowed a small amount of white thread and sanitized it by stitching it onto a pillowcase to hold it in place so I could wash the thread in the washing machine. Once dry, I unstitched the thread from the pillowcase. Every choice I make in materials and techniques is carefully designed to speak to the disease, the pandemic, the shelter-in-place orders and the ethical ramifications of our individual behaviors. Keep checking back for snapshots of the project’s progress.
Lara Myers is an Army brat, a godchild of a Charo backup singer, a former dancer for the San Francisco band, ArmaGetItOn, and a documentary installation artist. She was the 2016–2017 Max Thelen Studio Residency artist at Art Works Downtown, where she currently has her studio, Lara’s Lab.
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