Creators: 50 States of Art

Artist Laura Amphlett Hides the Desert's Magic in Collaged Boxes

Divination, inspiration, and the magic hidden in plain sight in Arizona.
April 7, 2017, 7:50pm
The Dance, 2010. Images courtesy of the artist.

This article originally appeared on Creators.

Through slivers of shattered light, a mirage forms in the desert; less an oasis than one's own mirror image, the works of Arizona artist Laura Amphlett present the possibility of paradise, but only on the other side of the looking-glass. The Arizona State University sculpture major works across a number of mediums, her primary roster including laser-cut acrylic, found objects, and neon. Although her works are deeply enigmatic, their allure is less in their solutions than in their precise compositions and constructions; they're beautiful puzzle-boxes, in the most literal sense.

Long-exalted as a source of spiritual energy, the desert has historically been an inspiration for American artists seeking a point of connection with the ethereal. It finds a home in Amphlett's small-scale objects. They're a little Duchamp, and some Flavin and Turrell, with a dash of the earnestness of Mendieta (to taste). Creators reached out to Amphlett to talk divination, inspiration, and the magic hiding in plain sight in Arizona.

Self Portrait. Found suitcase, neon, laser etched acrylic, mirror film. 25"x40". 201721 (Detail). Laser cut/etched acrylic, found image, cacti, astroturf. 24"x32"x5". 2014Shhhh. Inkjet print, found text, found paper, ink, thread, stickers, cardstock. 8.5"x11"Cherchez La Femme. Inkjet print, laser etching, cut vinyl on stonehenge. 10"x10". Edition of 15. 2016Grapes. Found image, pencil. 5"x7". 2015Loose Lips. Laser etched acrylic, neon. 13"x12". 2017Daggers. Cardstock, acetate, ink, acrylic paint. 5"x7". 2014Untitled. Pencil. 5"x7". 2016 24"X32"x5"