Marie's Electric Womb
Nadja Pelkey is a Freelance Copywriter and is the Program Coordinator, Neighbourhood Spaces Artist Residency in Windsor, Ontario. She wrote an essay for my upcoming exhibition, The Four Housewives of the Apocalypse, at the Thames Art Gallery.
Here is an excerpt from her essay:
"Laurie Langford’s Four Housewives of the Apocalypse is a richly decorated environment, Langford leaves no surface untouched from the walls to the incorporation of draperies and textiles there is no safe harbour to rest your eyes. Each large figure is heavily detailed, almost completely encrusted in domestic ephemera. Previously used and useful household objects are dismantled and reimagined as weaponry, limbs, and symbolic tools for the Housewives to employ. The four large figures, the housewives are anachronistic. There’s a strong Steampunk aesthetic running through the works, decades and centuries are removed from a continuum and pushed up against each other, held fast with electronics and denied any sense of historical continuity. There are so many references in the works that fully enumerating them would be futile. Langford is comfortable with this surfeit of objects. Previously she worked with shadowboxes, creating shallow dioramas with the artifacts of kitsch. The scale of this work allows Langford to physically enter the work, and construct an immersive environment as opposed to a glimpse through a window. Throughout the exhibition there are nods to Alice in Wonderland. Barbie dolls costumed as playing card sentries, keys, and a disorienting space where the scale of the figures shrinks the viewer. Attempting to anchor these characters in a familiar story, a beloved story whose attendant figures also function as a sort of shorthand – a means of reinforcing Langford’s view of this work as a reflection of the societal pressures she feels as a woman.
The Four Housewives each represent a facet of womanhood that Langford has identified as problematic. She’s named them all- Viola, Marie, Greta, and Fiona. Each figure is a distinct character that Langford has created in order to illustrate her thesis..."
-Nadja Pelkey, February 14, 2014
Laurie Langford is a Chatham-based visual artist, with her practice encompassing printmaking, photography, shadowboxes, and installations. Her work has been presented at ARTspace and the Thames Art Gallery in Chatham, Ontario; W K P Kennedy Art Gallery in North Bay, Ontario; and at the SB Gallery in Windsor, Ontario. She has served as guest curator at ARTspace, and her writing has been published in The Globe and Mail. Langford strives to create dialogue about the private and public aspects of women’s lives, both past and present, through dark humour. Born in Toronto, with her formative years spent in Prince Edward Island, Langford now lives and works in Chatham, Ontario.
For more interesting exhibitions at the Thames Art Gallery, click here: Thames Art Gallery