Laura Eldret’ makes installations, posters, drawings, textiles, videos, and events. She is interested in the commonalities that bring diverse groups of people together and the productive tensions of social encounters. Her art offers a gentle nudge to communal consciousness and action, bringing alternative voices to the fore.
Her projects have involved working locally and transnationally, in both metropolitan and rural areas around the world. Recently, she has becomes interested in social ecological and growing practices. Drawing on methodologies of anthropology, ethnography, and sociology, she is exploring ways to contest art’s autonomy and affirm the value of conversation and social encounters.
( work in progress July 2022)
Laura Eldret’s selected exhibitions include Nottingham Contemporary (2022); Gods House Tower (2020); Karst and The Box, Plymouth (2019); Firstsite, Colchester (2018); Turf Projects, Croydon (2017); CCA Derry, NI (2016); Fig-2, ICA, London (2015); Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2015); Drawing Room, London (2015); South London Gallery (2013); Ikon, Birmingham (2013); The Gallery, Arts University Bournemouth (2012); Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle upon Tyne (2012); and Camden Arts Centre, London (2011). In 2016 she was shortlisted for the Vordemberger Prize and awarded a Gasworks URRA residency in Buenos Aires.
Eldret is a vAssociate Lecturer in Fine Art at Arts University Bournemouth and has guest lectured at RCA, Goldsmiths and UAL. Curatorial experience includes delivering public art and projects for Contemporary Art Society (2004-12), and co-founding and co-directing CollectingLiveArt (2007–10). In 2019 she established More Than Ponies, an artist-led programme of contemporary art for and/ or about the New Forest.
( artists statement from 2020 (some of this still stands))
I explore the social agency of art and the aesthetic elements that bind people together. My projects explores ideas of particular people and places, the duality of the real and the fantastical, imaginative potential of people. My practice is rooted in discourses of social engagement, anthropology and documentary. My work is informed by processes of social exchange and observation, ethnography and research into artefacts, histories and practices. I make performances, events, videos, sculpture, installation, posters and fabric works. I have worked with diverse groups of people including boxers, builders, firefighters and Zapotec weavers in Mexico.
More recently I have been reflecting on the physical spaces and places that social interactions take place. What are common traits of communal spaces? What are the visceral and metaphorical registers of these places? How do we as individuals locate ourselves within a communal setting? What are the innate haptic and multi-sensory desires that we collectively share (touch, feel, smell, sound, voice, as well as sight)? As real-time communal social interactions become increasingly rarefied, what are the qualities that make these unique and meaningful? And how can these be replicated online?
I am inspired by the commonalities that brings groups together. I am inspired by fabrics’ social forms, its familiarity and history of global circulation. I create works in diverse formats from observational/ ethno-fiction video works or performative acts of sharing, to the reforming or manipulation of apparatus or materials that inform our ways of being. I am interested in social behaviours becoming manifest in pattern. I want to nudge social expectations and bring alternative voices into discourse.