Rosemary Laing: Burning Ayer #12
According to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) website, Rosemary Liang was born in 1959 in Brisbane. Rosemary Laing creates project-based photographic work, often cinematic in vision and generally made with real-time performance and physical installation rather than digital manipulation. Her projects are often created in relation to cultural and/or historically resonant locations throughout Australia. With interventions undertaken in situ or using choreographed performance work, she engages with the politics of place and contemporary culture. Her projects draw upon both the histories of a place or situation and the conditions that create its contemporary circumstance. Accumulatively, Laing’s projects can form a kind of ongoing narrative, which tracks periods and their events that have had an impact upon cultural consciousness.
The Work of Art
Burning Ayer #12 is a limited edition photographic print of which this example is the ninth of twelve printed. The image is one of a series by Laing where she explores wide open spaces and the effects of fire. Notice the effect of the fire's light in the wide expanse of the landscape. In similar images the contrast between light and dark is marked by thick smoke from the fires. There is also a sense of drama in Laing's images. With Burning Ayer #12, and the material burning there seems to be like a still from a film, there is a sense of control of the elements. Take a look at 'ONE DOZEN UNNATURAL DISASTERS IN THE AUSTRALIAN LANDSCAPE #2'. Here, there is is the sense of contrast as marked above but I feel there's less control and it emphasizes the subject title, 'unnatural disasters'.
Laing is very much the master of capturing the beauty of open spaces and senses of movement. In a series of images titled 'Flight Research' Laing explores the human figure in open space. The figure displays forms of beauty in all of the different positions as it is emphasized by the blue sky and open space.
Burning Ayer was acquired by the University of Canberra in 2003.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney https://www.mca.com.au/artists-works/artists/rosemary-laing/