Laurel Sparks abstract paintings come out of her love of theatricality, her canvases a cast of characters that shimmer and dance in a multitude of colour, texture and symbolism.
Her work is, oddly enough, based on photographs which she takes herself or collects and archives. When starting a new work Sparks draws from the photo until she’s broken down the image into abstract organic shapes in a sketchbook. These shapes are then applied to the canvas with a variety of materials including acrylic, pigment markers, gouache, silver and gold enamel in bright pop and psychedelic colours. She follows this process by applying various objects such as marble dust, jingle bells, glitter and pom-poms – which she sees as costume jewellery for the work – giving her paintings a three dimensional quality.
The result is a glorious spectacle, a riot, a feast of the senses that celebrate the decorative arts and the theatre of paint.