Laura Hudspith MFA ’23 is part of a three-person exhibition titled “Vessels, Orbs and Pyrophytic Pods” at Zalucky Contemporary Gallery in Toronto, Canada. The exhibition is on view June 4 through July 2.
The artists assembled in the show perform various forms of alchemy to explore the inner life of things. Their work exalts the inherent mutability of matter, the constant state of becoming that might not always be perceptible to the naked eye. Employing the corrosive power of salt, the destructive energy of fire and the transformative effects of vapour, they attempt to bear witness to the ‘changefulness’ of inanimate objects and how, in that state of flux, new forms of knowing can emerge.
Each artist acts as both author and interloper in their own work. In doing so, they demonstrate what Jane Bennett in Vibrant Matter describes as “the extent to which human being and thinghood overlap, the extent the us and the it slip-slide into each other”.(1) Lee Henderson ‘captured’ his own breath in a series of copper vessels at the Glenfiddich Distillery, which were later exposed to the vapours within a spirit safe to verdigris for 3 years and a day—the minimum required aging time for scotch whisky. Liljana Mead Martin nestled resin casts of her own folded hands (charged with the fluorescent hues of thermal gradient maps) within the remains of charred wood in a gesture both exquisite and profound. And, in an act bordering on the macabre, Laura Hudspith has entombed photographs of herself in transparent resin orbs that reveal only the remnants of the salty brine that has consumed each image beyond all recognition. Collectively, these works speak to the regenerative powers of the natural world and our intrinsic connections to the forces that shape it.
(1) Bennett, Jane. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. (2010)