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danni in lisboa in arcadia

Stages: Life during Lockdown 
group exhibition | Jan 2021 
Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill, Victoria, Australia

STAGES: life in lockdown includes work by people who lived through Victoria’s lockdowns during 2020 and 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

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Suddenly, in a matter of days, I was no longer on assignment in India, nor was I in my adopted home in Mexico, but in my childhood bedroom in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne in March 2020. Shell-shocked, grateful, discombobulated. I printed an image that hangs in my apartment in Mexico City, of my friend Danni, and watched the golden hour play over it every night,
as the rosellas and lorikeets broke into song, confused about what and where home is.

Poco a Poco 

solo photography exhibition | Jan 2021 
The Plant Charmer Store
149 Nicholson Street, East Brunswick, VIC, Australia 
10 photographs - various sizes 


Created across mexico and australia, the two countries photographer Laura May Grogan calls home, poco a poco is an ode to resilience,
the incredible and terrifying complexity of nature, and a personal journey out of australia’s covid-19 lockdowns in 2020.

For the last 5 years, Laura May Grogan has been in a perpetual state of movement. Working on commercial assignments throughout
mexico, the usa, asia and her native australia. After suddenly finding herself in medical quarantine en route to japan in march 2020, after a hurried exit of out india, away from her adopted home in mexico city, then during an extended (but necessary) lockdown she experienced a jarring 10 month lesson in privilege, humility, adaptability and patience.

poco a poco is some of her most personal work to date.

“In this moment globally when a microscopic virus could evolve so perfectly to remove our ability to use our most vital organs, when we had collectively facilitated incredible acts of cruelty upon each other whilst locally, I was severed from my community and my livelihood and was still healthy and completely overwhelmed by despair.

I needed to create photographs outside of my normal portrait practice to facilitate an emergence from this unsustainable locked down state. To see a world, although forever changed, that was still full of wonder, and of future. Connecting work created in Mexico, with a new series in Australia allowed me to be reminded that this place (mexico) that I love, although not accessible right now, continues to inform me personally and artistically. To be reminded that nature is resilient, beautiful… hopeful”

The cacti documented in poco a poco act as a metaphor for pragmatic optimism.

Complex, nocturnal and unique, the mechanisms that cacti have evolved to survive feel extra-terrestrial. cacti roots are shallow and wide spreading, seeking moisture and passing it amongst themselves in methods as complex as that of newly understood mycorrhizal networks.
Quietly, at night, many varieties of cacti open their stomata to take in carbon dioxide, breathing nocturnally, whilst growing, ever so slowly at a rate as slow as 2cm per year.

Mythologically, It was upon a cactus, that an eagle, eating a serpent, signalled to the aztezs the location of their permanent capital city. This is the cactus that appears on the mexican flag, the plant is intrinsically interwoven in the economical, historical, gastronomical and traditional systems of the country. There are no native cacti in australia and although not always welcome, it is an introduced species that thrives. Seeking to understand what it is to be a stranger in one’s own country both because of her absence from australia and a deeper acceptance of responsibility around being born on unceded aboriginal lands. Simultaneously she lives in the ethics of being a caucasian ‘ex-pat’ in a developing country, the cacti connects to over arching, ever present themes in Laura May Grogan’s work.

“After more than 4 years of living in Mexico City, people still kindly reply to my stuttering apologies for not speaking better spanish with 

“poco a poco” there is a pragmatic, encouraging optimism that comes with this phrase that the english translations of ‘easy does it’ or ‘little by little’ doesn’t convey. I still need a little bit of that optimism now.”

dancing not falling

alchemy of the found object 
group show | Feb 2021 
Trash Magic - Dirty Dozen
Campbell Arcade, Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC, Australia 


Paper print mounted on glass 
153 x 86cm

Trash Magic invited 12 artists to display work in the historic windows in Campbell Avenue as part of their 'Alchemy of the Found Object' Group Exhibition.

Photographed and displayed in the same window, photographer Laura May Grogan continues her investigation into the humble plastic drop sheet (this one found in a colleague's car the day of the shoot) as a photographic device for abstraction, refraction, and glorious textured silky whooshiness. 

Roma Obscuro

Opened 2018
Co Estudio, Alvaro Obregon, Roma, CDMX
Centro Revelado 

Patricio Gallindo an architect and Laura May Grogan, a commercial photographer couldn't find a space in Mexcio City to develop and print analogue photographs, so they created their own. By combining their love of analogue photography, designing spaces for teaching and sharing pre-digital printing techniques, and a shared responsibility to preserve the knowledge of the dark room, Roma Obscuro was founded in 2019 on Roma's iconic Avenida Alvaro Obregon. 

an excert from published article HotBook : Laura May : La Magica Del Cuarto 
Nov 2019

 

Cuéntanos sobre Roma Obscuro y sobre la magia que tiene este lugar?

Todo sucedió porque quería crear un espacio en el que pudiera jugar a hacer fotos en la obscuridad con mi amigo Patricio. Ambos buscábamos tener un momento sin celulares, sin presión, para poder hacer magia.

Pato es un gran arquitecto, diseñador de interiores, fotógrafo, artista y siempre tiene las más locas ideas. Nos complementamos de una manera muy especial al trabajar juntos. Pato es el yin de mi yang sin duda. Así que, después de haber colaborado en varios proyectos juntos como el pop-up de Soho House en México, tomamos la decisión de abrir un pequeño lugar de revelado de fotografía análoga. La familia de Pato tenía ampliadoras fotográficas alemanas de los años setenta, entre otras herramientas clave para armar el cuarto obscuro y, poco a poco, con mucho amor, creamos este lugar en la colonia Roma.

El espacio está abierto al público; quien sea puede venir a tomar alguna clase conmigo o rentar el espacio para revelar. Me encanta que ya tenemos una pequeña comunidad de personas tanto mexicanas como de otras partes del mundo que están creando cosas muy interesantes en nuestro cuarto obscuro. Otra cosa muy linda que he notado en los miembros que vienen es ver lo relajados que salen después de trabajar aquí, como si revelar fuera un tipo de meditación en la obscuridad. Personalmente, es como veo mi practica artística en el cuarto obscuro. Es algo muy interesante porque casi nunca estamos en plena obscuridad, menos en esta ciudad; ni cuando dormimos. Casi siempre hay alguna luz, aunque sea pequeña, que logra entrar.

En mi opinión, los cuartos obscuros son necesarios en todas partes del mundo, pero más en una ciudad como la Ciudad de México. Aquí, necesitamos ese espacio para ser creativos en plena paz, sin distracciones, en plena obscuridad. ¡Ahí es donde sucede la magia!



read more at: https://hotbook.mx/laura-may/

Carpa // Habitat 002

group show | Feb 2018
Nogal, 218, Santa Maria La Ribiera, CDMX, Mexico

dia de los muertos 2017
Cotton Rag
205cm x 85cm 

Salon Acme