Featured artist/ lara merrett

interview and filming by Motel Picture Company
19th november 2022

lara merrett at sullivan and strumpf gallery, photos by noah kelley lockette

the elemental power of lara merrett 

we caught up with lara merrett at sullivan + strumpf during her latest show; by my side, walking. a beautiful new series of translucent works touched by nature and awash with saturations of colour. lara shares her process, her deep affinity with nature, being open to the unknown and joy of connecting through collaboration.

rwb story film by motel picture company

lara you are so open and trusting of others (and nature) inviting them to be involved in your process. how did this collaboration start? 

It started from a studio friend Kate Rohde collaborating in the early days. I loved how there were no compromises when creating this collection..it was true to Kate’s work. Since then I always had respect for RWB and that rang true when I finally met Luke and Anna. I felt like they were artistic peers so it was really natural when we’d speak about our work and the vision. 

I also invited Anna to be part of a forest protest I organized in 2021 on the NSW South Coast. Anna made the most incredible large scale fabric bird that scaled the developers fence - total respect! 

claudia karven wears the field day pleat skirt and top

sullivan and strumpf gallerist ursula sullivan wearing the ever changing organza tier gown

what part of your practice do you find the most exciting?

Working creatively means being flexible, problem solving, big ideas and meeting new people while working in situations you might normally never have access to. It’s a privilege and not having a road map is the best part. 

Lara's daughter Maya wearing the field day maxi dress

have you seen your work change in time with your work with the environment?

Yes, working with the natural environment has made me a lot more aware, which means it is confronting to see how Art Fairs, traveling exhibitions are not environmentally friendly at all. I’m part of that so it can feel confusing and hypocritical. My art materials are also in response to a lighter footprint. It’s hard to unsee these issues. 

anna mentioned you are a part of a group called the dirt witches, can you please tell us more about it?

Dirt Witches is a cross-disciplinary collective of environmental and climate activists battling for climate justice and was started after the 2018 federal election. It’s quite informal and acts as a good way to reach out to different people to collaborate on climate projects or share information. So far I’ve been part of creating Barlow St Forrest, a micro forest made up of endangered Banksia scrub. I’m now ready for a new project! 

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distant future- fall 22