A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a preview of an exhibition, Pigmentumphobia, by Laura Shevaun Green, a local artist. Sadly, I couldn’t make that date, but I began to hear some great reviews of the work.
Laura is a Fylde and Wyre based artist. She grew up in Blackpool and gained a 1st Class Fine Arts and Professional Practice Degree at the local university. She has exhibited in group exhibitions in several countries. She landed her only major commission in 2018 with ‘Painting the Town’ but sadly the work was never publicly exhibited.
Her practice involves recording, through paint mixing, the true colour of objects found in the town and then having them turned into interior paint to be used by other creatives. Laura is passionate about supporting her local community and creating work that reflects the voice of the resort through the eyes of the people who live and work in the local area.
Finally, I made it, a bit late to the party, but well worth the wait. The Hive Café was full of customers the day I visited, and, to avoid disturbing them, I viewed the exhibition from across the space, only moving closer when there was nobody sitting directly in front of the work. I was immediately struck by the vibrant images, contrasting dramatically with the single-coloured canvases alongside. I’d heard a bit about the project, but I wanted to know more. I asked Laura how the project started.
‘The first palette I did was for ‘Painting the Town’ then I just went crazy with colour!’
I tell Laura this is evident from the printed photographs in the exhibition.
She continues, ‘The very first colour I made was for ‘Painting the Town’. It was the dark green called Sow. It came from wanting a green shade for my living room and I got really frustrated because I wanted the green from the field I use to hang out with my mates on when I was a teenager. When I think of a place I think of a colour, and I wanted THAT COLOUR. So I went to the field got a dandelion leaf and got it colour matched. And it was born from that. It was really an emotional pull towards a story that made me choose the locations for PTT and then the colours came from the locations I visited and thinking about the stories I had been told.
‘The exhibition has colours from five different paint palettes, each one a separate image. The brown one is from Painting The Town; the green is from ‘Four Seasons,’ which is about plants and flowers found in Blackpool as the seasons change; the orange image is from ‘Tit for Tat,’ based on Blackpool sovereigns; the purple is from Rock and Roll-On, based on the different sweet rock that can be bought in Blackpool; and the final image is from ‘Flock Together, which is based on the birds that gather in the town.’
It’s obvious that Laura has a great love for the town she was born in: ‘I grew up here, it shaped my life in every way: who I was friends with, who I fell in love with, my attitude, my experiences, my accent, my personality. I love the town and I love the people in it. I worked closely with the participants in ‘Painting the Town’. But the other palettes have been more about personal experiences. My next range, based on objects, is a return to working with participants again.’
Laura has an interesting and slightly quirky way of looking at things. She’s not afraid to take chances. I like that in an artist. It’s a great way of moving forward, and it has certainly paid off in Pigmentumphobia. As a parting shot I ask Laura what the title means. ‘It means a fear of paint. A bit of tongue in cheek joke really about my own fear of making work again after my experiences of a previous art event.’
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