Laura Terry grew up in west central Georgia where she fell in love with the red clay and rural landscape. As an undergraduate she studied architecture, but after a trip to Florence, Italy, she decided she wanted to be a painter. She received her MFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1998. Since then, she has shown her work in Atlanta, Minneapolis, New York and Los Angeles. Fresh Paint in Culver City, CA retains many of her mixed media drawings. Her work is held in private collections in Denver, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Tokyo. She is inspired by the complexity of the landscape, particularly in the fall and winter, when the structure of plants and trees is revealed.
My paintings are attempts to idealize the southern landscape, not for some nostalgic or sentimental reason, but because within the ideal is the real. The identity of the South is dependent on the landscape, the heat and the distinct architecture of deep porches and large oaks. That is the ideal: a concept that exists only in the imagination, perpetuated by myth. Counter to ideal is real: of basic, essential or critical importance. The distinction between the two is obvious, but it is the duality of the relationship, ideal and real, day and night, good and evil that fascinates me. The liminal condition is where the ideal and the real merge, and on the painted surface, the two co-exist, colliding in a compositional dance. The painted surface borrows from experiences real and pictured, from landscapes actual and imagined, and from imagery concrete and abstract, with the line between the real and ideal no longer distinct, but instead, quite blurry. In that blurriness is the evidence of the search. I look closely to see deeply.