Open Frequency 2011: Lauren Elizabeth Jury selected by Gordon Dalton

Open Frequency 2011: Lauren Elizabeth Jury selected by Gordon Dalton Lauren Elizabeth Jury, Untitled #2, from the series 'Dyfodiad', 2008. C-Type print mounted onto aluminium. 30 x 30 inches

Artist and writer Gordon Dalton profiles Lauren Elizabeth Jury's 'Dyfodiad' series of photographic works

Have you ever been so lost that you were bed-wettingly frightened? Where you thought that the earth may open up with razor fangs and swallow you down in two bloodstained chunks? So lost in fact, that you thought you may never see another human face again and your only friends would be the birds and the trees and the wind that blows through them?

Maybe that isn’t so unappealing, maybe you find it attractive? After all, one person’s hell is another one’s heaven. Maybe it sounds like the purist escape from the modern world. Maybe it sounds like purgatory. Even in one’s own purgatory, there is the hope of redemption, of purifaction, of finding a higher state of consciousness, of peace with one’s self.

Lauren Elizabeth Jury’s photographic series, Dyfodiad, shows a little girl lost in the woods. The eerie side of nursery rhymes haunts the pictures, although it’s not a little girl at all, but the diminutive artist herself, clad in a red jacket. Those cursed nursery rhymes persist, although now they are twinned with the grotesque of a masked assailant point of view from any number of horror films. The red jacketed girl would be hard to shake off connotations with Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973), especially with all that atmospheric fog of loneliness and grief that blurs the edges. The wintry cold landscapes also bring to mind another of Julie Christie’s famous films, Dr Zhivago (David Lean, 1965), which also has its fair share of loneliness, longing and looking for a certain someone.

In Dyfodiad, the artist searches for something, someone, hoping to become even further lost in the landscape so she can find a grain of truth of an answer. So what’s the question? The bleak isolation of the pictures makes them ambiguous and open to many interpretations. I hope she’s thinking ‘how do I make sense of all this, this natural beauty?’ Where is my place in all this? Pretty universal questions I agree, but in the chaotic confusion of everyday life, ones that we should never be too embarrassed to ask.

Jury’s photographs offer a space for reflection and peace, with those nursery rhymes and horror stories always in the back of your mind to keep you on your toes. After all, if you want to find yourself, go get lost in the woods today. Just watch out for that Teddy Bear’s picnic.

Gordon Dalton, January 2011

Artist's biography 

Lauren Elizabeth Jury is a photographic artist and curator based in Cardiff. She studied BA (Hons) Photographic Art at the University of Wales, Newport (2005-2008) and in 2008 was selected by Source Magazine for ‘Outstanding Work’ for the Dyfodiad series and shortlisted for the Online Portfolio Award (Bobs Books). She is currently Visual Arts Officer at Chapter, Cardiff.

Selected exhibitions include The Manchester Contemporary, selected group exhibition, Spinningfields, Manchester; Bystanding, selected group exhibition, g39, Cardiff; FOKUS Cardiff – Here We Are/Dyma Ni, selected group exhibition, Rathaus Stuttgart, Germany (all 2010); Unseen, selected group exhibition, Nottingham; Brink, Graduate exhibition, Caerleon Campus, UWN Newport (both 2008); Look Out, student exhibition, Tredegar House, Newport (2007).

About Gordon Dalton

Gordon Dalton is an artist, curator and writer based in Cardiff. Recent shows include exhibitions at Bank Art, Los Angeles; Galerie Skuc, Lubjiana and Keith Talent Gallery, London. Curated projects include public art works such as Olaf Breuning for Bristol City Council and Marjeta Potrc for Safle, Cardiff.

Dalton is Learning & Interpretation Manager for Glyn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea and the co-director of Mermaid & Monster - a contemporary art agency based in Cardiff. He is currently writing his debut novel - The Art of Lying and Dying.

Open Frequency keeps you in touch with new developments in contemporary art practice from across the UK. The artists are selected and profiled by leading curators, artists and writers, presenting the work of artists to watch out for over the coming year. Open Frequency represents a forward-looking glance today of the artists who will be setting the agenda tomorrow.