Artist-in-residence | Laura Grimm
Name: Laura Grimm
Occupation: visual artist, with a focus on sculptures
Residency type: artist without a room
Duration working period: 3 months (June to August 2021)
Background: lives and works in Rotterdam, and is co-founder of artist collective MADLAB studio
Instagram handle: @laurakigrimm
How did you end up at AGA LAB?
I have made many sculptures from cardboard with an existing print, but now I wanted to take the next step and make prints on cardboard myself to create my own material. I had seen the work “Six lucid sensibilities” by Didi Lehnhausen. This is an installation build with silkscreen frames that are imprinted with photographic images and presented with the residues of silkscreen ink. She was an artist in residence at AGA LAB in 2018 and I thought this “club” (AGA LAB) would be open to anyone who wants to push the boundaries. This was confirmed by the information I found on the application page.
What training have you had?
When I was 17 I joined the bachelor programme Fashion & Design at Amsterdam Fashion Instute (AMFI), where for me there was sometimes too much emphasis on technology and too little on creativity. After that I applied and was accepted at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. My specialization was Textile. The art academy has helped to convert a thought process into work. And I also learned to screen print on textiles, so that technique was not completely foreign to me.
What is your medium or technique?
I make sculptures and like to work with malleable materials that I can manipulate by hand, such as fabric, paper and cardboard.
What are your plans for your working period at AGA LAB?
During my work period I use colour pigments to make screen printing inks myself, which is an experiment in itself. Pigments have different qualities for each colour, so you have to discover a new recipe of mixing ratios for each colour. By pressing the colours over each other, I see colour depths and other colour tones appear. And I printed on different types of paper to see what the effect was of the colours on the background.
I now use four pigments (Indian yellow, lime blue, green umber mixed with lime yellow and burnt sienna) to print free compositions on large cardboard plates. After my residency I will continue to work with these own printed materials to make new work. This will be exhibited in Rotterdam, as it is subsidized by the Droom en Daad foundation.
Did you request a specific discipline or expert help?
In principle, I would have liked to try other techniques in addition to screen printing, such as lithography and etching. But I also think it’s better to do something right than a little bit of everything. That is why I have now fully focused on screen printing. I am not a graphic artist and during this three-month working period I want to discover the possibilities of screen printing and develop my own way of working. The exchange of ideas with the people on the work floor is also nice. For example, Ida Ferrand showed how you can connect different panels to each other, using a technique that is also used for wallpaper design. Workshop assistant Maarten Schuurman not only helps me technically, but also motivates me creatively. He’s my cheerleader.
Who or what inspires you the most?
Currently a letter from the book Notes and Methods about Hilma af Klint. The message I read in it: “Whatever you do, if you put energy into something, something always emerges from it”. This gives me confidence in the creative field and helps me persevere when in doubt.
It is also special to me how this Swedish artist incorporated her spirituality in her paintings. I come from a fairly rational family, and her story intrigues me. It tells me, “You don’t just have to imagine what you actually see, but you can also imagine what you feel inside.”
- Laura Grimm at work at AGA LAB
- Experiments of printing with colour pigments on cardboard
- Personal inspiration / sketch of the letter of Hilma af Klint – © Laura Grimm