2020 is on its way out of our collective memory, though not without fully overhauling life as we’ve known it. At The CAMP, we kicked the year off by starting from scratch, adding new and wildly talented artists to our darling roster (i.e., making loads of new friends), partnering with FAMA for a 40-artist exhibition, leaving our Little River home and setting up shop in North Miami, and even the launch of a brand-new virtual gallery with the help of Emperia, UK.
Which made us curious—how has the unruly intensity of the new decade impacted those we work closest with?
In the spirit of growth and community, we bring you The CAMP’s 2020 Roundup, a small interview series featuring reflections from our CAMP and CAMP Spotlight artists.
Laura Marsh. People Will Forget, 2020. Iron-On Transfer Vinyl and Silk-screened Imagery Trim on Repurposed Rugs. 5 x 7 in.
Spatial and social conscientiousness underscore CAMP artist Laura Marsh’s embroidered and woven installations, which she invites the viewer to interact with physically and inwardly. Hailing from a working-class background and two generations of sewers, Marsh works with the intent to mediate conversations on infrastructural issues such as class mobility, gentrification, and the need for diversity, through the tactile experiences she creates. Her body of work act as both a mirror and response to the conversations dominating the public sphere in the United States as they pertain to inclusion, racism, and more importantly, intention.
For more conversation and thoughts on Laura Marsh’s work, you can also check out our CAMPerspectives piece, “Mind Your Business, or Don’t: Laura Marsh’s Work as Subversion of Expectations,” written by CAMP Creative Maria Gabriela Di Giammarco.
2020 has been a difficult and often tumultuous year - how has it affected you and your artwork?
The pandemic has made me want to protect my friends and family with safe conduct. For my work, I've been leading more talks, workshops, and I've had some nice commissions. It's made me as busy as ever, and zoom has shaped how we communicate with interesting decks and screen shares.
What has been the biggest hurdle you have had to deal with since March of this year?
My biggest hurdle has been not being able to be with family in my daughter's first six months since my family members are spread out in different states and my parents are limited in their ability to travel.
Have you noticed any changes in your work?
I've been sketching out my ideas for banners and installations, which serve as guides for the larger works. This process helps me think through concepts and material. choices, and the drawings end up being pieces all their own.
Have you noticed any changes in how people react and or engage with your work now that they can see it mainly online?
I notice that viewers have been talking to me about textiles more and the impact of the handmade, and that there's a real need for physicality in this distant world.
What has been the best thing that has happened this year?
The best thing for my work was having a banner included in the Flag Project at the Rockefeller Center. The experience reminded me of my first trip to NY, where me and a bus load for art students took a charter bus and were dropped off at the Center. The flags immediately struck me, and I knew that NY is an international place. It was powerful for the team at the RC to decide to do an artist takeover of the 163 flags for 6 weeks. The messages were uplifting, and that's what we all need right now.
The best personal achievement was giving birth to a healthy baby, Sofia.
Has anything surprised you this year?
I am surprised by how well FL did in advocating for people to vote!
What inspires you currently? Do you see this changing?
I'm inspired by new exhibition models and artist advocacy and will always be.
Laura Marsh. Power Taken Series I, 2019. Vinyl Iron-On Letters on Cotton and Nylon Fabric. 3 x 3 in.
Is there anything (exhibition, event, travel, etc.) that you had to forego this year that ended up working out beautifully?
I didn't make it to spring break or the Rockefeller Center Center due to family illness and precautions taken. The fair and my inclusion in the shows at CAMP, both online and in person, have made my work stronger.
In the same vein, is there anything that quarantine/isolation has inspired you to start doing or practicing?
Moments of isolation have allowed me to reflect more on my practice and I take more avid notes about the concepts behind my work.
How does your process differ now that we’re all spending less time out “in the world” and more time with ourselves?
More time with myself and my family has helped me evolve, and I realize that the constant hustle of our pre-Covid lifestyles wasn't all that sustainable. I eat so many less meals in the car going from place to place!
Laura Marsh. A Wise Woman, 2020. Iron on transfer vinyl on Repurposed Rug. 84 x 60 in.
How do you see this moment in time affecting the bigger industry in the long-term?
I believe the bigger industry will incorporate more virtual programs surrounding contemporary topics.
Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?
Yes, I plan to meditate more and get organized, especially in the studio!