Laura Jacobs

Laura Jacobs is a London based artist who started her career as a stage and costume designer, and scenic artist, working with a wide range of directors and styles of theatre. Her paintings and drawings have grown out of this aesthetic. Her work is eclectic and ranges from abstract installation pieces (Guston Fragments) to large-scale charcoal drawings of spaces from her studio and its location (Cupboard Scrolls) to intense figurative studies of the real world.

Jacobs studied at Camberwell, Central Saint Martins and the New York Studio School of Drawing Painting and Sculpture where she won a scholarship. In 2011 she was chosen from thousands to participate in the BBC TV’s ‘Show Me the Monet’ competing to win a chance to sell her work in a prestigious exhibition at the Royal College of Art. She was one of the winners by selling her work in a silent auction.

She has recently had her largest of the Cupboard Scrolls, Cupboard 360, accepted into the highly prestigious and renowned Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize exhibition (formerly the Jerwood Drawing Prize) chosen as one of 57 artists out of almost 4,300 submissions. The show is currently on a national tour of The U.K.

Jacobs has exhibited across the UK, New York and The Seychelles, and her work is in public and private collections in the UK, USA, Holland and the Seychelles.

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About the work (selected examples)

In the Cupboard Scrolls Jacobs investigates with the intensity and precision of a forensic scientist situations that are commonplace and even seemingly drab. She records the chaos of the rejected, creating visual obituaries for objects which once valued for functionality and design, now lay around discarded unloved and invisible.

Guston Fragments made prior to the Cupboard Scrolls also speak of this. Site specific paper casts ranging from large room sized hanging pieces to small domestic architectural details which originated from her studio in New York (Phillip Guston’s former kitchen.) These mixed media paper sculptures and drawings record the spaces occupied by things, which we see, and use every day, yet fail to validate within any aesthetic context.

In the Chair Series Jacobs constructs large theatrical environments that use charged objects both personal and found; multiple spaces, light and projections which she then makes paintings from.

During lockdown Jacobs has turned this gaze inwards to reveal a body of small – scale intimate daily drawings entitled ‘Getting to Know Myself – This is Now’. This work is very personal and is almost like a visual diary about memory and longing. Running alongside this series are studies from masterworks chosen for their resonance to her at this particular time, entitled ‘Sign of the Times’.