‘Marie Antoinette Arbour’ was exhibited in the group show ‘Secret Garden’ at Dominik Mersch Gallery in 2020. Here, Janet depicts the French monarch’s unadorned secret garden awaiting the seasonal change that will transform it into a spectacle of spring. The weaving flowerless framework reveals the human hands of care and the labour of past arborists, echoing the care that Laurence beckons the viewer to treat nature with. The receding linear structure focusses our attention on a garden’s transient space; its journey’s completion resting firmly on the presence of blossoming life. By photographing this structure bare, Laurence poses the question what can this garden be?
Laurence exhibits both locally and internationally and has been represented in major curated and survey exhibitions including: Janet Laurence: After Nature, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (2019), Entangled Garden for Plant Memory, Yu-Hsiu Museum of Art, Taiwan (2020); Negotiating This World (2012) NGV, Melbourne; 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010) and 9th Biennale of Sydney (1992); The Adelaide Biennale (2008), Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan (2003,) and Australian Perspecta (1985, 1991, 1997). Her major survey show ‘Janet Laurence: After Nature’ is accompanied by Chief Curator Rachel Kent’s in-depth essay on her practice so far. Major commissioned works include: The Australian War Memorial (in collaboration with TZG Architects), Hyde Park, London; Tarkine for a World in Need of Wilderness Macquarie Bank London, In the Shadow, Sydney 2000 Olympic Park; Waterveil, CH2 Building for Melbourne City Council, Elixir, Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan; and Memory of Lived Spaces, T3 Terminal Changi Singapore.