ის საუბრობდა წვიმით / She spoke rain
The Why Not Gallery is glad to present Lara Smithson solo show She Spoke Rain comprised of the film Spitting is a Language on its Own and an accompanying print.
The film opens with a shot of the artist against a vast rock formation and then a construction of what appears to be a religious monument. The feeling is further intensified with the artist’s repetitive gesture of bending and swinging her long blond hair. Vastness of nature is compared with frailty of human body and in this spirit of German Romanticism, the film is imbued with a tender sense of solitude that is desolate and precious at the same time.
The film takes the viewer through the artist’s trip around China where she went with a desire to research caves that for her resonate with human mind. In Chinese the word for cave literary means heavenly pit; this unexpected association of heaven with the ground instead of sky further instigated the artist’s curiosity. Her pseudo-scientific experiment lead the artist to come across some of the most breath-taking vistas that depicted in the film are so serene and soothing that attain meditative dimension. These tranquil landscapes are broken up with shots of Cantonese Opera, prayer wheels and other signifiers that are instantly associated with the Eastern Asia. However, instead being clichés, they represent highly personal experiences of the artist. Oriental riff becomes touching odes to loneliness, ordinary movements become religious gestures and gloves become magical attire.
Originally a painter, Smithson’s practice of making films is informed by painting a lot; each shot is carefully composed taking in consideration layout, color and scale. The artist is interested in connecting cinema with painting and their inherent desire to tell a story.
Lara Smithson graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art from 2011-2015 and went on exchange to Cooper Union, New York in 2014. Since graduating she has been commissioned to make a short film for Channel 4, with the ICA as part of STOP PLAY RECORD. This has been touring the UK for the past year and she has been involved in exhibitions in both London and New York. On graduating from her BA she was awarded the Dolbey Travel Scholarship allowing her to travel to China and Vietnam in 2016 for 4 months. She was also a recipient of the Claire Winston Memorial Award in 2015 and the Grocers Company Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award in 2011-2015.