‘Precarity’ to explore the unsettled human condition

CHEYENNE, Wyoming – Denver-based artist Laura Shill’s work will be on display at Laramie County Community College through October, inviting audiences to explore parts of the human condition she said we all share. 

In “Precarity,” Shill creates a sculptural installation comprised of plaster cast feet and legs suspended in nylon hose and stretched to their breaking points, in seemingly precarious positions. 

 “Precarity is sort of being in that state of instability and insecurity over a prolonged amount of time, which I think is something a lot of us can feel now living in the world in 2022, where it seems like it’s hard to have stable footing,” Shill said.  

Shill began. her art career as a photographer, a medium in which the presence of absence is emphasized. In “Precarity,” Shill again brings absence into physical form through sculptures that suggest bodies that are not fully present. 

Shill said she hopes in her first Wyoming show that the art allows people to have conversations about how, despite all of our differences, human beings can feel connected by how they are unsettled in the world.  

“I hope people can identify (the feeling of precarity) as an overarching condition we all share,” she said. 

Shill earned an MFA in Interdisciplinary Media Arts Practices from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2012 and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including at the 2017 Venice Biennale at the European Cultural Center, The Gallery of Contemporary Art in Colorado Springs, David B. Smith Gallery in Denver, Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, and Durden and Ray in Los Angeles. Her 2016 solo exhibition, “Phantom Touch,” was held at Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Daniel Maw, LCCC art instructor, said he hopes students and the community will come to “Precarity” to get a firsthand look at some of the mold making and casting processes that he works with in his classes at the college. 

“I hope folks make a point to see Laura’s work,” Maw said. “I think it’ll be a unique experience for them. I’m so excited to have her on campus after first encountering her work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.”

“Precarity” will be on display in the Esther and John Clay Fine Art Gallery on LCCC’s Cheyenne campus from Sept. 30 to Oct. 28. An opening reception will be held from noon-1:30 p.m. Oct. 5. An artist talk will follow at 2 p.m. in the Surbrugg/Prentice Auditorium. 

More of Shill’s work can be viewed at www.lauraleeshill.com.