Slip N Slide

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Lauri Hopkins’ work encourages storytelling and re-seeing things. Her non-representational, abstract collages and low reliefs resemble the geometric style of Constructivism with an inherent architectural, sculptural quality. At first glance they appear to have no particular reference but on closer scrutiny you notice suggestions of mid-century architecture and design, the history of abstract art and her suburban childhood.

 
Growing up near Bognor Regis inspiration was not found in art galleries but in the everyday experiences of suburbia. Her family’s featureless, uniform ex-council house had few toys and computer games, but Hopkins would make things. There were dens, numerous books and homemade glue. With little access to traditional art materials in the home there was always great music and colouring pencils, and materials that had fallen out of use. “There seems to be a connection between childhood and collagist practice…collage is a realm of play.” John Stezaker
 

Hopkins’ work crosses disciplines but primarily involves painting and collage and the reassembling of defunct materials, with paintings affecting her collages and vice versa. Her approach to making is akin to geometrically based abstraction where her materials provide the starting point. Her collages and low reliefs are made from old book covers - some up to 100 years old, sweet wrappers, old papers and cardboard. She has spent years amassing her collection of leftovers which she has organised in her studio by colour and size. The discarded book cover sets up loose parameters in terms of the scale she uses in her work, that and limiting herself to these unassuming materials that with precision and sensitivity are given a new life. “The use of the available, the practice of bricolage, or working within the limits of already available components…I think there is a natural attachment of collage to aged material, to stuff that has lost its immediate relationship with the world.” John Stezaker
 
Compositions come and go, despite her intentions, and can be affected by the music that she’s listening to, a walk around the block, a conversation. Hopkins always works on several compositions at once. The collages affect one another as she intuitively explores combinations of colour and texture. As her layered kaleidoscopic compositions of lines and planes build up, they might bring to mind architectural plans, concrete walls, confectionary packaging, a time of day, dilapidated swimming pools. The titles offer clues as to what Hopkins was thinking at the time of making each piece, whilst also wanting to create evocative tangents in every viewer.
 
When seen together the works in Slip N Slide can be seen as a visual diary. A collection of moments, of memories. A record of the incidental poetry of everyday suburban life, each communicated in Hopkins’ distinct visual language of tactile, lopsided geometry.