Multi-media artist Laurel Roth quit her job as a park ranger 6 years ago to focus exclusively on her artwork. Now, with an array of fascinating works to her name, she uses many different mediums to examine biological ramifications of human behavior. Juxtaposing traditional craft and artisan techniques with un-traditional materials, she examines the drive humans have to modify themselves and their environment. Roth plays with biology and product design creating new cultural artifacts whilst questioning the social constructions of need, design and desire.
In her work on peacocks, the sculptures are made from what she describes as ‘human mating plumage’; fake fingernails, nail polish, false eyelashes and jewelry. Displayed on a bird known for it’s extravagant mating rituals, they showcase the choices and adaptations involved in biological processes unique to humankind. In collaboration with Andy Diaz Hope, Roth’s work on chandeliers also looks at the human need to modify itself. The installations are chandeliers made from hypodermic needles, crystals and garlands of gelatin capsules and examine the utopian ideals promised by the pharmaceutical industry.
Roth’s newest series on food was inspired by industrial agriculture and the politics of the food industry. Animal skulls and teeth carved from various hardwoods, finished with techniques borrowed from the makers of guns and musical instruments, are inset with growths of crystal and gold leaf.