Knowledge of and obsession with mortality may be at the root of humanity’s greatest achievements as well as our most destructive tendencies,” shares Orange County, California based artist Laurie Hassold. Working on her sculptures while teaching students about her delicate forms of art at various colleges and Universities in Southern California, Laurie chisels away on sculptures of many shapes and sizes, all of which are equally powerful in demanding focus on their fine dramatic detail.
“I like dark fairy stories the best,” Laurie continues, “…where the forest is a site of challenge and growth. If you make it out alive, you are sure to be changed in some way. My sculptures are like shed skeletons from these rites of passage. Fossilized armatures from an evolved post-human fairy tale, where hybrid species repurpose the detritus of human occupation. They yearn for self awareness and an understanding of their place in the cosmos, only to become bone wombs for the next new species to evolve.”
The delicate sculptures of Laurie Hassold are an attempt to imagine “Cross-breeds” that traverse social, biological and psychological barriers, and reconcile the alienation felt by the artist between humanity and the natural world. The marriage of rock, bone, tree and flesh attempt to bridge the impossible divide between life and death, becoming an ageless witness to the passing of geological time, in the form of fossils. Fossilized species, once living, but now bonded to the earth between several millennia of geological layers, are like time capsules for discovering the past.
But what if, through some sort of theoretical time – space event, it becomes possible to discover fossils from the future? What secrets would these petrified clocks share about our current Anthropocene paradise, the in-between period that may be humanity’s long, last day in the sun? Will there perhaps be a stain from the collective human drama for future species to study, and will they be able to unlock the secrets in our bones?”
Laurie Hassold was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but has spent most of her adult life in southern California. She shares a home and studio with her husband, painter Jeff Gillette, and two feline children, and teaches art at Orange Coast College and Irvine Valley College. Selected museum exhibitions that have featured her work include Confronting Mortality with Art and Science, at the Historic Halls of the Antwerp Zoo, in Antwerp, Belgium; The Shack Show at Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, California; and Extreme Materials II at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York. Past solo exhibitions that she is particularly proud of include Exorb…and one day we didn’t need to breathe at Grand Central Art Gallery, Santa Ana, California; Supernature: A Post-Human Fairy Tale at Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, California and Nostalgia for the Future at Art Cube Gallery, Laguna Beach, California.
Article & Photographs: Laurie Hassold