Laura Carthew | Immortal Flower

Growing, budding, blooming and dying, 'Immortal Flower' presents a quiet ode to the fragile states within the universal cycle of life and death.

For visual artist Laura Carthew, the opportunity to live, work and be mentored in South Korea by artist Yeondoo Jung has greatly developed her latest practice. Her video work, Immortal Flower is a direct product of this cross-cultural engagment, opening this Saturday 4 June at MARS Gallery, Melbourne.

Laura Carthew is an interdisciplinary visual artist working primarily with video and photography. Her practice investigates rituals, memorialisation and choreography within both cultural and spiritual practices.

In 2014 and 2015, after emailing South Korean Artist Yeondoo Jung, Laura participated in a mentorship and residency in Seoul. For this she was supported by a Creative Individuals Career Fund Grant, Copyright Agency Limited (2014) and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust (2014).

Completely immersed in everyday life in South Korea, her resulting work Immortal Flower speaks of a full engagement with the contemporary and traditional undercurrents in South Korea. Focusing upon life and death, Immortal Flower entwines historical symbology and Korean identity to engage with this universal cycle.

Korea’s national flower: the Mugungwha (무궁화), which translates in English to ‘Immortal Flower’ is the centre of the piece. Three mystic female flower characters reference this immortal flower, as they emerge out of and dance rhythmically over a green pyramid-like structure. Framed by darkness the only focus is this dance, with the green-pyramid representing the blurred, ambiguous, open-ended space before life and after death.

In this flower dance, as the figures emerge and dance ‘in-between’ these different states – growing, budding, blooming and dying – a sense of distillation from life’s busy currents occurs. Whilst embedded in South Korean traditional mythology, the subject of Immortal Flower promises to be a beautiful reflection on the universal life and death cycle, creating a work that speaks to both Australian and South Korean audiences.

Laura Carthew | Immortal Flower
4 – 25 June
MARS Gallery

Courtesy the artist and Mars Gallery, Melbourne. 

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