May 20 Art Minute: Rosemary Laing, “groundspeed, (Rose Petal) #17”

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Rosemary Laing (Australian, born 1959), groundspeed, (Rose Petal) #17. C-Type photograph, 2001. 43 5/16 x 76 3/4 inches. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 2016.2. Wolfe Gallery.

At first look, this photograph by Australian artist Rosemary Laing appears to be a digital manipulation. But look closer—it is actually the result of a painstakingly staged installation. To create this scene, Laing laid down industrially produced carpet in a South Australian forest. The result, like all of the works in her groundspeed series, is a jarring intrusion of human culture into the natural world. Laing’s work deftly draws attention to the complex relationship between the consumerist needs and material output of modern society and our increasing encroachment on nature.

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