drawing: detail from Sahar ©Laura Corsiglia
Sahar (detail), ink on paper, Laura Corsiglia

natural history

I am the kind of animal that makes drawings. Work primarily with ink and pencils on paper, though a list of ingredients does not convey the way lines and forms unfurl, take over walls or commit ephemeral practices. Lines, drawings, are alive. What interests me most is the work to be done, the points of view there are to develop in the world, the quality of the relationships we may have with ourselves, our loved ones, other animals, and places, plants and all beings… relationships between forms, and the immediacy of a single bird’s beak. Surrealism as considering the wide populated breadth of reality.

A wide range of scale is of primary interest. Many tiny details in my large works on paper are only visible to a very close up view. The work interacts with surroundings on a monumental scale in the case of live overhead projector work and other time based interventions. I am interested in the physicality of a viewer in relation to a drawing.

Drawing as a discipline is generous, overflowing, enthusiastic, ferocious, it speaks and I try to follow, try to meet it, to gain the upper hand, to be conquered, it bites and it’s through that breach that all of the shapes, lines and beings step into being seen. Like whales who surface to look around a little in the dry air. This is already saying too much.

I try to make something– that might let forms wish to come and see, to stay.


Laura Corsiglia’s Interior Landscapes: Nesting Materials at Black Faun Gallery, by Gabrielle Gopinath, North Coast Journal

Birds populate artist’s life, The Times-Standard Eureka

“Radiant with the myths of the canadian north-west where she grew up, Laura Corsiglia’s paintings reverberate with a shamanist chiaroscuro reminiscent of Cecil Taylor’s magic piano.” –––Franklin Rosemont, Surrealism Here and Now, Chicago

“Some of the drawings combine painterly touches with illustrative technique. Laura Corsiglia’s lovely abstractions are the best example, with expressive strokes and washes of black ink mingling with swirls of bright color. Delicate figures resembling ancient Latin American art depict animal-headed people and skeletal hands and arms, but the living presence in the drawing comes from the swirling ink.
In comparison, the outlined figures feel like transient spirits. Sampling traditions of Chinese calligraphy and abstract expressionism, Corsiglia creates about as delightful a postmodern remix as you could ask for.” –––Megan Voeller, Intimate Views, review of “Tomorrow’s Drawing Today” at St Petersburg Art Center

“Two of the show’s most intriguing works are drawings by Canadian artist Laura Corsiglia, in which tattoolike drawings of birds and humanoid figures intermingle in free-form style with floral forms and abstract passages consisting of thin, concentric bands of color.” –––Tom Patterson, Winston Salem Journal

“However, Corsiglia remains the artist here who’s most concerned with metamorphosis. Her paintings and pop-up books feature brightly colored grounds made from ink and wheatpaste washes. When these media pool together, process escapes intent; the message gets shaped accordingly. Rather than seeking to eliminate these moments where control is lost, Corsiglia makes space for them. “I’m very interested in chance,” she told me, and it shows. Tiny characters pop up in unexpected places throughout her work: chimeras of various descriptions whose common denominator is that they are beastly and humanoid at once. Many appear caught midway through some primal act of transformation or congress. Even Corsiglia’s speedy calligraphic line shifts shape and contour in response to need. According to the ancient Roman poet Ovid, such transformations used to happen all the time. Forms in the Golden Age possessed a fluidity they have since lost: Men might suddenly sprout ass’ ears; women might turn into trees, or gods into bulls. This old notion reminds us that early humans drew and painted animals for millennia before taking much interest in the depiction of human affairs.” –––Gabrielle Gopinath, “Studio Space” review of open StewART Open Studios in North Coast Journal 12/8/17