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Mika Negishi Laidlaw


My recent work has developed from memories of growing up in Japan, and my relationships to people who are close to me. It has been changing and evolving in conjunction with events in my life, such as my grandmother growing weak and fragile, and me becoming a new parent.  My work is highly personal, but at the same time I intend to make messages to viewers universal.

As a child, I often visited my grandparents who lived in countryside. When I was very small, my grandmother called me “a little gymnast”, because I used to roll from one end of tatami floor to another during my sleep. Grandmother put one more futon around me, then two…. and soon she ended up with filling the entire floor with all futons she had. As I became older, she continued to treat me like a princess, and every night she would stack layers of futons for me to sleep on. Having a child of my own made me recall some of the fondest memories I have, and now I can physically understand the impulse my grandmother felt. When I create a ceramic pillow, I think of each pillow as a symbol of her unconditional love.

Stacks of pillows symbolize the safe resting place.  Forms on top originated from my fascination of human fetus.  By putting fetus like forms on stacks of pillows, I am trying to create the ultimate resting place.  At the same time, I intend to create a sense of tension, and remind viewers even the safest place is never permanent.

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