Larissa Shaw

embroidered curtain laying against the grass

larissaeshaw.com
ris@larissaeshaw.com


Interested in ungoverned libraries and non-hierarchical education, my work playfully documents common concern as places of sanctuaries, balancing trust and cooperation over competition and anything else. I use self-documentation and lists of useful things said to me to orientate my practice in its own self-governed and non-artist prescription, working solo and collaboratively. Through whichever material takes my interest at the time, generally somewhere between: textiles, metal and text.  

I lean into learning something new, using machines and process to illustrate research, navigating personal, transgenerational and socio-historical narratives. Presented as installations, webs of [re]imagined engagements surrounding language and knowledge [re]production – which is [un]written, [un]performed, made [in]visible. 


Publications are also are occasional extension of my practice.

A closeup detail image of a grey curtain. In the centre is a yellow panel in an curved, irregular shape. All around the edges of the yellow panel is a bright green fluffy embroidered detailing. In the bottom left of the image is the corner of another yellow panel, edged similarly with embroidered detailing in bright hot pink. Above this detailing is a clear panel with no embroidered detailing.
Goldfish, Common Interest Amongst Other Sancturies/Empires, 2020

“The graveyard feeling is caused by an unsuccessful submersion. Like when you go fishing under water; there, too, you dive into a new element, the water. If you leave the water without having caught a fish you feel a chill, you get a cold, whereas after a successful catch you are content and get the impression that the water warms your spirit. But if you are not a practical person and have never had the inclination, or the time, to work with your hands or to learn new skills, turn to page 88. There you will find a list of addresses of various organisations that will put you in touch with good, local draughtsmen and builders.”

Poster Work, 2020. [Digital posters]

[A list of useful things said to me since the first day of 2020, phone notes.]

Ahhh those Eames chairs are total fuckers, like some sort of masculine nightmare. – CW

People wearing sunglasses in London on really overcast days really get to me, it’s like, OKAY I GET IT – GB

Be a parasite within an arts organisation, but be careful not to destroy the host, or you won’t get paid. DK & CDP

Artist run galleries have had to adopt less transparent ways of functioning than commercial galleries in order to get funding and survive. SL

Most of the time it’s good you don’t have a clue why you’re doing something until the very last minute – CW

There’s nothing more depressing than repairing damaged artworks. You should try to avoid that. CC

Drag me to hell, credentialism is rife – LO’C

If you ever struggle to read a thousand plataus, just read the last page, CW

I’m mad everyday that I paid for a new contemporaries application once – ES

Parasitic, algae, tardigrades, aspects of life that can survive in epically tricky conditions. Boil them, deep-freeze them, crust them, dry them out or blast them into space; tardigrades will survive it all and come back for more – CW

What’s the point in playing Sims if you don’t know the cheats? I have to go to work to earn money? It’s like I do that shit in real life, I don’t need it in a game too – AS

Rowley Regis belongs to no one. ES

I also think the idea of accessing space gets very bleary and confusing when it comes to this sort of art-based-professional-social thing and you sometimes can’t work out if you’re welcome – ES

The poem is in the public domain – KB

I really want to facilitate new public structures for art, that don’t pedestrianise these monuments as some sort of gatekeepers of your own understanding – LO’C

Time as commodity, what happens when bus timetables in other countries aren’t really a thing? – HA

Art-world-creating-artists with more divide than unanimity, urgh – RD

How do I know I actually want to do something, or if it’s just because we’re in quarantine? – LS

I spend all day on Monday redesigning the course criteria, and I’ve never been so disinterested in all my life because this thing was so dominating – CW

‘Gardens, Allotments, and other Sanctuaries/Empires’ – TE

Today you’re exhausted by all the emotional to-ing and fro-ing. There is lots to be grateful for and so much to look forward to, but honestly, even thinking about this stuff is giving you the shits. Embrace denial, it’s not like anyone knows what day it is. – MK

Work should not have a life expectancy, and it should exist after its life in a gallery – CW

Talking into a vacuum / nobody is working in a vacuum – CW

Have you ever gone to any art thing ever and thought “wow I’m glad I woke up and got out of bed for this”? LS – // I can honestly say no. Watching any sort of art that exists via the internet in lockdown in bed has actually been quite revolutionary – ES

Are you being persecuted or prosecuted? DC

If no mapping of the swamp is possible, then what to do with the co-ordinates? Are they even necessary? RS

I’m like a guppy at feeding time. I don’t think that far ahead. GS

Do I really need to distinguish between various stages of research, more or less advanced, and the question of realised work? What the hell is realised work?! – LS

Student’s are paying for the most expensive video calls ever known to humankind – CW

International art language is the only language I want to speak and I’ve been speaking it since I was about 3 – CW

Art Licks Weekend 2019, London. Installation shot at 4Cose, South Hackney.
Collaboration with GU Womxn; Laura Onions, Sophie Huckfield, Emily Hawes & Larissa Shaw
A Manifesto, 2020. Self published, printed by Dizzy Ink (Nottingham)
Soft Spaces for Seizures, 2020.

Recent 2019-20 activity has included (hyperlinks): writing with BLCKHLCLB, Art Licks Weekend with GU WomxnCoventry Biennial, catching caterpillars and making my website into a self-library index.

I work with Black Hole Club 2020, Masters of Something, Matters of Interest, The Morning Exchange & goldfish.

Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam NL. 2019.
Garden Brickwork (1971) Mike Lawrence.
Two power-coated car suspension springs at Bourne’s, Bissell Street, Birmingham.
A scan from a page in a book, ‘Garden Brickwork’ (1971) found in my Grandad’s house whilst looking through his belongings.