An essay by Hamish Sawyer
Written in response to collaboration with Veople for LENS GC ‘STAND’ in 2019Laurie Oxenford’s interdisciplinary practice is not so much about the Gold Coast as of it. The emerging artist, curator and public art facilitator is guided by the potential of the city’s public spaces; as both a source material for her ephemeral
installations, as well as sites for exchange and interaction. Through daily ritual of walking, looking and finding, Oxenford explores how such spaces are constructed and how they inform the ways in which we navigate urban environments.
The layered urban landscape of the Gold Coast has proven fertile ground for Oxenford, who relocated to the city from Toowoomba in 2019. Rather than the buildings themselves however, the artist is interested in the interstitial zones
between buildings, and what they can reveal about a place and its inhabitants.
For the City of Gold Coast’s LENS GC program in 2019, Oxenford was paired wit multi-disciplinary artist Jay Jermyn and musician Julian Currie of VEOPLE. Over a two-week period, the trio embarked on a walking tour around the back streets of Tugun and Currumbin, filming short sequences using objects found along the
way. In Mirror, a bathroom vanity sits in a backyard, its plastic wrap blowing it the wind against a stack of tyres. Jermyn and Currie sampled the plastic blowing the wind and combined it with a dreamy guitar and synth soundscape. The short
video is a portrait of sorts, singling out the discarded object (in an unlikely context) for attention.
Between June and August of 2021, Oxenford undertook a residency at THE WALLS Art Space to develop a site-responsive body of work, repurposing items from the gallery’s store room, as well as objects collected on the artist’s daily
walks around the streets of Miami. The assemblages produced through this process embody the artist’s core values, including site-responsiveness, humble gestures and a fidelity to materials. Oxenford reinvests found objects with
purpose and value, allowing viewers to apprehend their renewed potential.