Another text panel from the Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists exhibition, which opens on May 31 and runs until August 8:
Born in 1955 in Philadelphia, USA, Amy Laskin attained her BFA degree in Ceramic Sculpture at Pennsylvania State University in 1977. In 1979, she went on to attain her MFA degree in Painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Laskin lives and works in St Andrew, Jamaica.
About the Work
The seemingly whimsical compositions of exquisite floral arrangements with distinctly “feminine” touches belie the conceptual depth of the work of Amy Laskin. The paintings themselves could be appreciated for their beauty alone but when one looks deeper one sees in works such as Flora and Coral Collaborate not only a preoccupation with the natural environment but also an implicit warning about the fragility of the beauty that we admire. A traditional painter, inspired also by her surroundings in the mountains of St Andrew, her paintings often have distinctly feminine elements ranging from a simple ribbon in some cases to surreal implied or actual dresses that double as the vessels for the natural arrangements. She has thus subtly inserted herself within the environments that she depicts because the concerns she seeks to share are her own.
O’Neil Lawrence, Exhibition Curator
About Women’s Art
“There are experiences, bonds and threads that we all have in common, which gives us insight into the oneness of all things and enables us to empathize with one another. Existing alongside, there remains a uniqueness, sui generis, that is exclusive, rare and particular to any group or individual. Women experience distinctive or aggregate qualities that set them apart from their male counterparts. This may or may not be evident in their art work. Women are marginalized, demeaned worldwide, and Jamaica is no exception. It is therefore very important to elevate, promote, and celebrate art created by women as an attempt to restore balance.”
“I am never consciously aware of making art that is ‘gender specific’ but a body of work has emerged that uses female imagery. It started with a visual curiosity, a comparison of like forms or analogies, presented in an unfamiliar way to challenge the viewers’ sense of real. These images became emblems, symbols and female entities. They are allegorical. The use of certain imagery such as lace, vines, knots, floras, landscapes, bodices, torsos, dresses, are merely the things I like and choose to combine in such a way as to create something phantasmagorical.”