Laurel Terlesky is an interdisciplinary Canadian artist and educator. She holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in International Creative Practice from Transart Institute (New York / Berlin), accredited by Plymouth University (UK) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Victoria (Canada). Her works have been experienced across North America on screen — television, large-scale projection, and the internet — and in exhibitions. Quest University Canada hosted Terlesky as Artist-In-Residence is 2015 where she created the installation, Hallowed Winds, with participation of faculty, students and staff as well as the local community of Squamish. Her exhibition was additionally supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Squamish Arts Council. Currently, Terlesky is working on a new series of works called “Surface Rupture” supported by the British Columbia Arts Council.

Terlesky’s creative practice explores tacit knowledge through the generation of objects made by and for touch. Her works are further marked by time capsules of audio that pull on one’s fabric of perception. These material transformations delivered through the imprint of touch, call for a momentary pause in a reflective space. She provides tactile encounters to assert what we know by way of our flesh. Codified in her objects are the results of explorations in vulnerable communication and empathic response. Her process aims to bridge gaps, lessen disconnections, grey out false dualisms and repair places of missed communication.

Installations that include projection and sound are also home in Terlesky’s body of work. She breathes life into a space for her participants to feel her empathic sensibilities and evoke a deep sense of being. Visitors to her spaces are called to participate by locating their body as shadow, wind, and vibration.

Personal Statement from the artist:

My practice-led research points strongly to how much we communicate by touching and being touched. We have developed many technological tools to enlist the duty of carrying our communication, but often we leave out tacit recognition and the deep sense of knowing or understanding by way of skin contact.

Our highly developed media realms allow for the gaps of distance to fade but also allow for closer contact with each other which results in the realization that we have incredible differences in our perceptual understanding. These jarring moments of unclear disagreement can cause deep wounds, and force the acknowledgement that our mortal reality bares. Our fleshy bodies feel the weight of pain and are made lighter by the interdependence of our relationships. Without bruised feelings we wouldn’t have shaped the story that creates our lives, nor would we develop a deeply evolved sense of empathy.


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