Ida Lawrence is a visual artist who weaves stories through her art and education projects.
My narrative paintings combine text and images to tell stories of (mis)understanding, (dis)connection, generosity, failure and surprise. They make a big deal out of small observations, tiny gestures and little feelings I’ve experienced or imagined.
I enjoy playing with the ‘visual language’ of painting — how images can have multiple meanings and how the ways a painting is made including its ‘abstract’ and painterly qualities can contribute to or subvert the story being told. While each work contains its own visual logic, many of my paintings let their own construction process (or illusion of it) remain visible: patterns disintegrate through imperfect repetition, mistakes are crudely crossed out, a work might be painted on the floor allowing elements to be painted at all angles, and images on the one canvas might be portrayed through a variety of techniques and degrees of detail.
In other projects she calls ‘Fabricated Histories’, Ida brings fictions to life through installation, mixed media, text and collaboration, and through her education programs and workshops she invites participants to tell their own stories or respond imaginatively and playfully to historical narratives.
Ida also collaborates with visual artists, writers, musicians, film makers and dancers — most often with Woven Kolektif. She is based in Berlin, Germany and is a 2022-2023 participant in the Berlin Program for Artists.
Previously, in Australia, Ida graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting at the Sydney art school situated in an old gaol, and received First Class Honours in Sculpture at one in a former mental asylum. Between 2010-2013 she was based in Indonesia while also studying dance at the Indonesian Arts Institute, Yogyakarta (on site of a former a rice field).
Ida has held solo exhibitions in Japan, Indonesia and Australia. She has also shared her work in group and duo exhibitions such as: In Conversation: FX Harsono x Ida Lawrence, curated by Emily Rolfe and Bianca Winataputri at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery, Sydney (2019); The 15th Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka (2012); Buah Tangan, with ISA Art + Design and Art Jakarta (2020); and looking here looking north at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney (2019). Ida has been an artist in residence in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia.