Persona October, 3rd 2019 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 233 - Laura Andalou

laura andalou – MB 1-

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 233 – Laura Andalou
Laura Andalou lives in a special location: a green boat on the corner of a small lawn: the Johanna. It is located in an area of former shipyards, small businesses and warehouses in the center of Amsterdam.
I saw countless foreigners cycling through the alleys, group-wise or otherwise. The area is popular with tourists. Laura invites me to climb inside and a moment later I am sitting at a table with a beautiful tropical plant on it, a Strelitza, the ‘Bird of Paradise Flower’.

laura andalou – MB 2-

The dream world versus the so-called reality
I had seen Laura’s photo work in the Beurs van Berlage and in Galerie Fleur & Wouter. It was special work in which the ordinary world and the imaginary world come together. That imagined world has surrealistic traits. It is not for nothing that her name is Andalou, referring to the surrealistic film Un chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí.
Laura: “I play with what is real and what is not, with the power and weakness of the senses and the power and weakness of the emotional perspective, the dream world and the world that we normally regard as reality. The question of when the dream ends and reality begins, I link to global socio-political related issues, such as reducing glaciers in the northern hemisphere or human rights violations. ”

laura andalou – MB 3-

Lucid dreaming
As a child, she always looked at the stars, she says. “I was fascinated by what was beyond my reach. I also often had intense dreams or nightmares and often found it difficult to distinguish them from reality. Because of this sometimes frightening wonder world, I asked myself what actually defined reality? I then trained myself to steer my dreams, so I came to a state of ‘lucid dreaming’. These days I also use this game in my photography. It is interesting to play with the border world of reality and surreality and not to be sure with a photo which of the worlds the image belongs to.” She hardly edits her photos of places in the world that fascinate her. “I leave it in the middle what has or has not been edited, so I get back the tension that I experienced.”

laura andalou – MB 4-

She has two autonomous series: a pink-tinted series ‘Le Rêve Rose’ (2015) and a blue, cool color series, ‘Nausicaä’ (2018). Laura: “With Le Rêve Rose I started to see myself as an artist for the first time.” It gave her access to foreign countries, for example in art residences. For example, she stayed in an art residence in Tunisia, where she also exhibited a number of times. “I was in my early 20’s, part of a group of artists with many different cultures and backgrounds, and for the first time I felt completely at home as a person. “This is me, this is what I want to stand for.”

laura andalou – MB 5-

Morocco and Iceland
The pink-tinted series was made around the Sahara in Morocco. Five years later, she made the blue, cool series ‘Nausicaä’ (2018) in Iceland. “’Nausicaä’ is a heavier series. More mature, I noticed that I started to look at life differently in my late 20s. I also learned how I defined myself as an artist and how it got a new place in my life. Not to make a series every month, but every few years that I fully support. And I also do everything to enrich my life as much as possible. “

laura andalou – MB 6-

She is inspired by the work and way of living of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Tamara de Lempicka, Frida Kahlo and the photographer Richard Mosse. “Mosse makes visually beautiful images about heavy subjects. I prefer such an approach myself, to enter people in their hearts and minds in a soft, subtle way, and then to be able to raise serious issues, such as the climate crisis and human rights violations. ”

laura andalou – MB 7-

The Broad Spectrum between Ratio and Dream
As Operations Assistant for MSF (Médecins sans Frontières) and as a photographer, Laura is occasionally involved in areas directly or indirectly related to conflict. “As a young girl, I always wanted to work for MSF. The human rights theme has always appealed to me and still reflects in all the different work that I do. A way to give voices to be heard a stage. “

laura andalou – MB 8-

There were more artists in the family, such as her grandfather Hugo. “He has always been a free spirit. He came from a well-to-do doctor’s family in South Limburg. Despite the expectations that he received from his family, he was stubborn, lived in Amsterdam for a while and drew and painted his entire life. ”

laura andalou – MB 9-

Laura’s study background therefore fits in with all the different facets of her life. She took the dreamy things she had as a child and her love of art into her choice in the study of Cultural Sciences and the more rational she took into the study in International People and Humanitarian Law.

laura andalou – MB 10-

Leaving the world a little better
Finally: what is her philosophy? “’How can you define reality’, that’s what it’s about for me. Pushing the boundaries of what seems real and surreal. I also hope to leave the world a little better than what I found. At the moment that is where for me my work, studies and art and documentary photography come together. ”
1) laura andalou, Reve Rose 6, 2) laura andalou, Reve Rose 7, 3) laura andalou, Reve Rose 10, laura andalou, Reve Rose 10, 5) laura barca, 6) Nausicaa 2, 7) Nausicaa 4, 8 ) Nausicaa 5, 9) Nausicaa 7, 10) Nausicaa 10

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