Dana Lawrie’s practice sits within expanded notions of self-portraiture, using repetitive and transformative processes to negotiate a relationship between permanence and impermanence. Embracing an anxious optimism towards both life and death, Dana situates the self-portrait as a product of excessive inward reflection—one that sets out to reconcile but ultimately makes light of, or evades, a deeper meditation on mortality. Her artworks embrace and build on the subtle humour, power and sadness that might be found between hopeful and hopeless.
Lawrie’s recent studio explorations have incorporated natural or mystical elements that could be seen to hold spiritual significance or symbolise optimism (for example rainbows, standing stones, ink made from flowers, seeds, automatic writing etc.). The inclusion of these elements could be suggestive of a light-hearted take on ‘inner peace’; vulnerability of the body to time; represent comforting or familiar greater forces; or speak of inevitable cyclical loss. Lawrie employs these natural/mystical symbols in a kind of ‘hyper-optimism’ to absurdly draw attention to, and encourage acceptance of, transience.
Lawrie has completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with first class honours from the Queensland College of Art (2012). Her work has been exhibited widely in various exhibitions throughout Australia: ‘Light Touch’, Odradekaeaf, Adelaide Experimental Art Foundation (South Australia, 2014); ‘QARI Project’, Sydney Contemporary Art Fair (New South Wales, 2013); ‘Selfiephilia’, The Hold Art Space (Queensland, 2013); ‘Art Snack’, and Diagram ARI (Queensland, 2013). Lawrie has been a finalist in various prizes including Prostect Portrait Prize (2015), Clayton Utz Art Award (2015), and the Sunshine Coast Art Prize (2012). She is also a recipient of the ADFAS award for painting, and is a two time finalist in the Churchie National Emerging Art Award in 2015 and 2013.