Laura Fitzgerald is a visual artist from a small mountain farm in Co. Kerry, working across drawing, painting, text & video. Recent shows and screenings include ‘Futures, Series 3, Episode 2’, at the RHA Gallery, 'Brief Encounters between Structure & Agency', at the Irish Film Institute and 'Lucian's Neighbours', at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Fitzgerald will develop a new ﬁlm and body of work for EVA Platforms Commission 2020 and the RHA Ashford Gallery in 2021. She is currently on residence at the Firestation Artists' Studios and is the recipient of the biannual EMERGENCE award.
Laura Fitzgerald’s work is very sad and very funny. She infuses her art with humour, so that she does not go mad in the midst of making it. The work must ﬁrstly make herself laugh in the studio, so that it then might possibly make others laugh, on a gallery wall, in a ﬁeld or in a book. Her work is a self-reﬂexive, self-critical comment of how and what it is to be an artist. But in doing so, it also is a comment on how it is to have any other occupation in the contemporary world and what it is to be a human.
Through video, text and drawing, her work focuses on the rapid changes she and others are experiencing in the modern world. She frames these experiences from the viewpoint of a stone. A stone can be submerged, half-submerged, it can rocket through the air like a scud missile or a meteorite. She is trying to tell stories from these different vantage points, trying to make herself as stone-like as possible. In this sense, she is telling it like it is, as inﬂuenced by writers such as Lydia Davis and Donald Bartelme.
Laura Fitzgerald’s work is trying to be useful. And while she is worried that making art is – in fact – useless, she seeks solace in the notion it can be so radically useless that it can resist the proﬁt-driven impetus of modern life. In a sense the work is sincerely absurdist in own endeavours. While looking at ideas relating to the neoliberal turn, she concentrates on using humour as a tool, an antidepressant, and a coping strategy to everyday lived experience. The work will not replace self service machines with humans, it will not repopulate the rural, or realign the power structures of the art world. Her work will not cure cancer, her work will not help blind children see; it will not make you understand life any more than you do. But it may mention these things, these non-understandings.