2 September - 5 November 2023
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery at 70-78 Keppel Street, Bathurst
Opening Friday 1 September 2023, 6pm

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery presents Corrugated Town by Laura Baker.

Crumbly buildings with tin roofs, chicken wire fences and hand-painted signs. The small town we grew up in; got stuck in; left; returned to; retired to; resign to.

Australian country towns have long been criticised for their unsympathetic design. Scarce funds are spread across large land, resulting in reoccurring potholes during wet summers, and businesses closing during drought, bushfire, and flood. The weather is always too hot; too dry; too wet; too.

But through rarely relenting adversity presses the spirit of the people. These are communities and homes and farms and livelihoods. Lived together. Supporting each other.

Through a reflective and laborious practice, fragile representations explore the harsh qualities of the Australian landscape. Fences, buildings and annual fallen leaves appear, suggesting a nostalgia, acceptance, and appreciation of this place.

This is an ode to the regional town; a body of work celebrating the unique landscape of power lines, uneven footpaths and corrugated everything.

Laura Baker

Laura Baker is an Australian visual artist working in the medium of paper cutting.

Laura was born in the Central West region of NSW and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts (now UNSW Art & Design). Laura spent several years living in Sydney and Melbourne whilst working in the independent book industry, before completing post-graduate studies in Arts & Cultural Management. She now lives in her hometown of Blayney NSW.

Starting with unmarked paper, Laura uses surgical cuts to explore the qualities, detail, and shape of the Australian landscape. Forms appear from the negative space as images are ‘drawn’ with the blade. A tension exists between the pull of metal through paper and the delicate strands left behind. The final pieces are as much as about the paper imagery, as the emptiness and the faint shadows cast beyond the work.

Laura is currently exhibited in the Arts OutWest exhibition While the World Waits (2022-2024) and Artists in Volatile Landscapes at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2023). Recent exhibitions include Watch your step at Maitland Regional Art Gallery (2023), Corrugated Town at Brunswick Street Gallery (2022), and Ghost Gums at LEDA Gallery (2022).

Image: Laura Baker, The old water heater (detail), 2022. hand cut paper, 33 x 24cm. Photo courtesy of the artist.