"Laria Saunders’ images seek a razor’s edge between the valleys of ecstatic visual beauty and pain. The hybrid of painterly photo montages ceaselessly seek to transform themselves, to upend, transmigrate and metamorphose the acute disequilibrium of everyday existence. With a soft hypnagogic flora of relief and dreams; her color fields position themselves as healing repositories, achieved with fastidiously weighted armature and composition. " - Christian Lincoln
I am a self-taught artist influenced by an artistic family. I collage primarily abstract pieces by using bits and pieces of original photos. I use an application optimized for blending. Typically each piece contains a minimum of 20-70 photos and can take several hours or several weeks.
I collect a photo texture library on walk-a-bouts. I am looking for peeling paint, an artistic line, cracks in the cement, an interesting piece of greenery, and a range of colors. I am also looking for textures that embody a certain place, city or idea ie: New Orleans series.
I began collaging on the iPhone ten years ago in order to stay creative while mostly being bedridden or confined to a dark house. For me, creating abstracts blurs lines and merges objects, providing a poetic portal to altered states of consciousness. This process allows me to enter a world that gives me a sense of empowerment and to attempt to convey suffering or a brief moment of normalcy.
I am inspired by philosopher, Ken Wilber’s “Integral Theory,” by the art of perception, nascent ideas, the process of creation and nature’s ever-unfolding creative drive. The central column seen in a lot of the paintings is referring to the eros and agape of humanity’s evolutionary, creative drive and my own willpower to endure chronic illness.
In a broader sense, I am interested in how perspectives change and in transcendence. Questions like, what makes the artist and the viewer evolve in terms of perspective? In India, the term "Rasa" is used to describe the "taste" or flavor that is evoked and perceived by the viewer. How does this taste evolve and is there a pattern in connection with the evolution of consciousness?
For the last twenty-four years, I've had ten chronic conditions including daily migraine, a spinal injury (demyelination) and Fibromyalgia. Mostly unaided by medications, due to multiple severe allergies. I have sought treatments all over the world and have been hospitalized over eight months. The migraines are the most disabling pain I experience and I often incorporate this into my work. It is only recently that I have found potential pain management that I can tolerate.
I grew up surrounded by art but with my current work, I have not been directly influenced by many artists. I am inspired by the work of Mark Bradford and have pieces following art exhibitions that altered my perception. ie: Julie Mehretu, Claude Monet, Marc Chagall, Clifford Still, Frida Kahlo, Leonardo DiVinci, Judith Godwin and Tara Donovan.
Digital devices are the perfect tool for those of us limited by our physical bodies. I am exploring the boundaries of this technology and one day, hope to expand to canvas.
STATEMENT FOR EXPERIMENTAL MOVING PHOTOGRAPHY SERIES -"DESPITE THE PAIN" - LARIA EXCLUSIVELY WORKED ON THIS COLLECTION FOR 5 YEARS.
I capture with the moving camera and then enhance in Photoshop. The evolution of perspective from the individual to the cosmic. Five years, five collections to form one universal snapshot.
When the camera moves, the world becomes a large palette of infinite colors, line and geometry. These ‘earth swabs’ start off as snapshots of earth components; it’s textures, color, patterns and movement and they evolve with every year, adding greater complexity, until a final “Creation” series.
After years of isolation due to crippling physical pain, I emerged from a dark cave and witnessed a world throbbing with light and color. I could no longer do normal photography.
This collection attempts to reflect the microcosm and macrocosm. The journey does this by mirroring and taking inspiration from two paths.
The Monarch butterfly from cocooned (New Papillon Series) migration (Migration Series), mating (Union Series), conception (Conception Series) and offspring (Creation Series).
Mirroring my own life from isolation to emergence then from travel (terrain subgroup) and finally to love (see subgroups below).
The second inspiration mirrors the evolution of the universe from its seed state of repose to the early chaos and finally to the life-forming creations.
Both paths declare the successful story of creation despite the intensity of the journey.
The final series leaves abstraction and enters our world of creation to show the offspring phase in the evolution of the Monarch and the universe. This series uses a single image from a mountain, a patch of dirt or small section of a muddy stream and with a stitching technique, duplicates it.
The evolution of perspective from the individual to the cosmic. Five years, five collections to form one snapshot.
She aspires to exhibit the entire collection.
COLLECTION TITLES INFO:
"DESPITE THE PAIN" – Series/Subgroups
NEW PAPILLON Cocooned Emergence Culmination stages
MIGRATION Stirrings, Evolution, Terrain stages
UNION Co-Creation. Forging. Emergent stages
CONCEPTION Conception, Incubation, Creation stages
CREATION Muddy Stream. Water Mountains and Bushes Trees and Dirt
Please note: *The Creation series (final series) uses no digital photography, kaleidoscopic methods or microscopic imaging to create the patterns seen and the same image is replicated. Simple processing techniques are implemented like dodging and burning plus color enhancing in order to accent the intricate symmetry, geometry and archetypal components that already exist in the original nature captured.