My paintings explore ideas concerning architectural unease, referencing imaginary, fictional landscapes that explore a dystopian science-fiction terrain. My work highlights the peculiar aspects of contemporary architectural design, often exaggerated through heightened perspective, leaving the viewer with a sense of sublimity laced with unease. Recurring patchwork motifs accentuate a definite but skewed anti-perspective, which herein add to a surreal, dreamlike sense of discomfort, where what appears to have been planned according to a perspectival logic is withheld and subverted. I envision my creations as buildings that conceal their ghostly inhabitants; in this regard, the viewer is confronted with a wasteland, suggesting a vast and fragile future or past: a spatial, structural and psychological schism within an urban framework.
Following my research trip to the abandoned town of Centralia in Pennsylvania in March 2014, I subsequently opened my solo show at the Galway Arts Centre (June/July 2014) entitled eminent domain. This work initiated a continuing interest in abandoned places where economic and environmental factors have forced inhabitants to relocate. My interest in science-fictional landscapes including computer generated cyber-scapes, have led me to draw parallels with these abandoned places. Much sci-fi imagery within film and gaming imagine a future of devastation and desolation. I endeavour to position my work within these ideas - the reality and the hypothetical - and create works which hint at environmental crisis but propose architectural solutions ie. floating, suspended structures. These structures and recurring checker board motifs play with notions of architectural unease accentuating a definite but skewed anti-perspective.
Lawler was born in Kildare in 1977 and currently lives in Dublin. She received a BA in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, in 2000. She has won numerous awards including the Hennessey Craig Award, RHA Gallery Annual exhibition in 2007, the Whytes Award, RHA Gallagher Gallery in 2007 and was the overall winner of the Open Selection Exhibition Award at the Eigse Arts Festival in 2009. Other awards include a Kildare Arts Services Award 2013/2011/2009, an Arts Council Bursary Award 2009, and Culture Ireland Award 2011. She was shortlisted for the Beers Lambert Contemporary, Thames and Hudson publication, 100 Painters of Tomorrow in 2013, the Celeste International Art Prize in 2012 and a Merit prize from the Golden Fleece Award in 2013.
She has exhibited extensively throughout Ireland and abroad including solo shows at Galway Arts Centre (2014), the Fenderesky Gallery (2007/2010),The Dock (2009), This is not a shop, Dublin (2009) and Draiocht Arts Centre (2007). Group shows include Panorama, Pallas Projects (2015), MAD Art Fair Madrid, curated by Jim Ricks (2014), Lacuna , Taylor Gallery, curated by David Quinn and Sabina McMahon (2014), Difference Engine, Limerick City Gallery (2013), Black Country, Lion and Lamb Gallery, London, curated by Nancy Cogswell (2013), Difference Engine, Accumulator II, The Oriel Myrrdin Gallery, Wales (2013), Difference Engine, Accumulator, West Cork Arts Centre (2012), Pallas Periodical Review, Pallas Projects (2011), Systems Beyond Certainty, Beers Lambert Contemporary, London, (2011), Difference Engine, Manifestation IV, Wexford Arts Centre (2011), Difference Engine, Manifestation III, CSV Cultural Center, New York (2011), New Connections, Rua Red, (2011), Difference Engine, Manifestation II, The Black Mariah Gallery/Triskel Arts Centre, Cork (2010), Preponderance of the Small, Douglas Hyde Gallery, (2009) and No Soul For Sale:A Festival for Independents, X-Initiative New York City, (2009).
She is co-founder/member of the group Difference Engine, an evolving serial exhibition, and a model of autonomous artist curation, by artists Gordon Cheung, Mark Cullen, Jessica Foley, Wendy Judge and Gillian Lawler. Each Manifestation of Difference Engine is based upon an ongoing collaboration, a kind of ‘Jamming’, between the artists. The result yields engaging experimental exhibitions combining installation, video, painting, sculpture and writing.