By Lindsey Turnbull
An exhibition called Consumed that is a thought-provoking and fascinating explosion of colourful artwork is currently running at the National Gallery, created by Marc Laurenson, who runs the Stoak’d design company. The 21 pieces of Pop Art have been cleverly created using a treasure trove of unwanted items that would normally be thrown away, creating instantly recognisable iconic images that will no doubt delight everyone who views the show.
Marc was born in Edinburgh and moved to Cayman when he was very young and went to Cayman Prep. Having finished his high school studies in the UK, he went to Australia for further studies, finally moving back to Cayman when the recession hit. He now works in an electrical supplies company by day and runs his Stoak’d design business by evening, a commission-based company, with his wife Pamela who is also an artist.
Marc explained the background to this show.
“We were originally meant to do the show at a much smaller place and the idea was just to showcase a couple of pieces, but, because of Covid, that space was not available. After discovering we didn't have a venue, the National Gallery reached out to us. We had so much more artwork to showcase at this exhibition, with 19 out of the 21 pieces being made this year,” he explained.
The National Gallery’s Director Natalie Urquhart said the Gallery was excited to be able to showcase his work.
“We’ve been working with Marc over the years collaborating in many different ways. When his original exhibition didn’t happen because of lockdown we reached out and said let’s work on this together,” she said.
Mrs Urquhart said they were particularly excited to be able to connect the art work and its theme of environmental sustainability with youngsters.
“We've already had several schools enjoying the exhibition,” she confirmed.
Marc said the genre of Pop Art was particularly appealing to him.
“I’m a big Pop Art fan. The idea [for the exhibition] had to be very much pop culture. It has to be bright; it has to be recognisable and iconic and I enjoy it when people see it. It brings back memories for them or they recognise it straight away. They almost have a connection with it being so iconic. That’s why I love Pop Art,” he explained.
Marc said the idea for the show was to get people thinking more about recycling and to inspire other artists on island to work with recycling. The idea for making art out of throw away items came a couple of years ago when Plastic Free Cayman approached them advising them that they had collected thousands of bottle tops and asked if they could he do anything with them. From that came the magnificent Jimi Hendrix artwork at the Kaaboo festival. From there the idea grew, Marc said, and he found himself working with different thrown away products such as unwanted toys from which they made the Mick Jagger artwork. From collecting mail at work, he found he could make artwork with stamps, and so the ideas for new artwork took shape.
“I’ve found that there are a lot of things people don’t want to throw away but they don’t want to keep, so the whole idea is we want to find a way to work that into artwork, rather than it be a burden to someone else,” he advised.
Out of the 21 pieces exhibiting, 10 have already pre-sold at the time of writing, such is the popularity of his artwork. Consumed runs from 7th November to 20th December. Don’t miss it.