Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Laura Clarke 

BA [Hons] Art

Laura Clarke is a multimedia visual artist from Co.Wexford, currently based in Dublin. Her work incorporates different media such as printmaking, painting, drawing and photography. Laura’s work is bold and graphical in nature, taking inspiration from the urban landscape, particularly abandoned or derelict buildings. She is attentive to the aesthetic qualities of boards covering windows, doors falling down, collapsed roofs and decaying shop signs. She is working to find a balance between noticing the inherent beauty in these decaying structures and the need to repair these buildings and make them liveable again.

Project Description

This work, titled Keep Out focuses on the urban city landscape as a canvas. The work is intended to represent hoarding/boards found on construction sites or abandoned buildings to block access to the public. These structures are typically heavily tagged with graffiti and flyers, and are often worn away by bad weather conditions. These interventions by nature, along with human interventions such as graffiti, come together to make these structures into a piece of art in itself.
The project began by photographing the various derelict buildings I came across on my daily commute as a way to capture the current state of these buildings before they inevitably change for better or worse. Using mostly found materials such as wood, paper, cardboard, paint and aluminium, I recreated the interesting textures and compositions I found through my photography. This practice continued through the project, with the final works being a large scale version of these initial explorations.

What Impact has Tattoo Culture had on Contemporary Art?

In this thesis I explored the evolution of tattoo culture from as far back as 3000 BC to modern day. I specifically focused on how tattooing has impacted contemporary art and how tattoo art is viewed in fine art circles in America, Europe and Ireland. Through my investigation into this relationship between tattoos and fine art I highlight some important figures in tattoo culture and discuss how they revolutionised the industry. I also point out how drastically the perception of tattooing and having tattoos has changed throughout time, going from a sordid underground culture to an established practice in mainstream society.