Afloat: Laura Amussen’s Personal Journey Culminates in a Powerful Solo Exhibition at Creative Alliance

Brink - Image from performance, duration 75 minutes

Two months ago, Baltimore artist Laura Amussen sought funding via the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, to produce and install her solo exhibition at Creative Alliance’s main gallery. Her goal was to raise $6,000 in 21 days. On October 1st, Amussen reached that goal, opening October 12th for her first solo exhibition in seven years. The exhibit continues through November 23rd.

Afloat combines sculpture, site-specific installation, photography, drawing, video and (on opening night) a still performance by the artist and her lover. Amussen is Director of Exhibitions at Goucher College, and her curatorial approach is apparent as she employs the vast main gallery space as a laboratory for her experimentation.  It is the perfect environment to connect and share with a collective audience, while still allowing space for individual reflection.

Using water and associated elements, Afloat represents the artist’s personal journey to free herself from the mental and emotional baggage she experienced at the end of her 17-year marriage, coming to terms with her sexuality, and the death of her mother. The result is brutally honest, tender and vulnerable - symbolizing struggle that ultimately culminates in survival.

In Brink, Amussen and her lover stand nude, hand-in-hand on an island of sand, contemplating a wall installation of 6000 metal rim tags – each a tiny representation of water. The assembly is arduous, meticulous and perfect.  At the opening, Amussen and her friend stood motionless for 75 minutes in a dramatic presentation of the work.

Brink (performance remnants) - Footprints in the sand, performance remnants

Vast - 2013 Wallpaper poster, approx: 6000 metal rim tags, and nails. 5.75' x 16’ x 1”

Afloat - 2013 Wood, 75 life jackets. 18” x 8’ x 8’

Caught - 2013 Drift wood, netting, 75 canvases. Dimensions variable

About the Artist

Laura Amussen is an award-winning artist, the director of exhibitions at Goucher College, and an educator at Towson University. From large scale site-specific installations to intimate sculptures, Amussen’s work encompasses a broad range of concepts and media. Her background in the medical field instilled an innate sensitivity for the human condition; her works often explore the psychological realms of humanity. She creates projects that tell a story, evoking a sensorial and visceral response that is at once personal and communal. Viewing the act of making as a meditative and therapeutic process, Amussen often creates work that is layered and emotionally expressive in its density. Empathetic to difficult emotional terrain, Amussen seeks conceptual inspiration from people, histories, and personal experience which exist in the realm of the unspeakable or disowned.

Creative Alliance at The Patterson
3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224, 410/276-1651, or fax: 410/276-3206

Hours & Fees
The Creative Alliance galleries and box office are open to the public Tue-Sat, 11am-7pm. Entry to the galleries is free, though donations are welcome.

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