Combining her fine arts training with her practice as an initiated witch, Mecklenburger explores the healing power of art. She immerses herself into the art making process in the form of spell, conjuring up inner thoughts and emotions, resulting in intricately detailed work on paper, clay, and mixed media. The imagery in her work is inspired by the transforming life-cycle changes in insects, fungi, and plants. Influenced by her queer experience and Jewish background, she’s concerned about underrepresented communities and sociopolitical issues, addressing vulnerability, healing, self-transformation, and protection in her work. Brought together in participatory shrines layered in symbolism, her installations offer visitors an opportunity to voice their concerns.
“To cast a spell is to create change in yourself and the world through indirect or intangible action. We all dream of better lives, but we are at the mercy of nature, chance, and other people. Even the most privileged people have needs and desires that direct action can’t reliably meet, and most of us don’t have access to wealth or power, either. So we pull together every powerful resource we do have – our possessions, our ecosystems and gardens, our words and songs and dances, our deities and ancestors, our blood and breath, emotion, patience, and time – to make magic. I also use my pen, scissors, clay, and my ability to sculpt and draw living beings to bring power and direction to my spells. This exhibition brings together the tangible and colorful remains of spells I have crafted for myself and my community, and invites visitors to participate in continuing magic.”
– Laura Mecklenburger