guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
 

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown

guy laramée is widely celebrated for his intricately carved environments into bound book pages, forming dramatic and detailed representations of natural landscapes. the experience of lockdown at his montreal studio over the past months presented laramée with a new artistic medium and narrative to share — toilet paper. created as a quarantine diary, the artist’s ‘toilet paper diary volcanoes’ tells the tale of a 21st century panic. using the same tools as his characteristic book landscapes, laramée has been spending 6-8 hours daily producing a sculpture made from an ordinary roll of toilet paper, each meticulously sculpted and painted to manifest the form of a volcanic topography.

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper volcano diary #1: in spring, earth shaking., 2020
carved toilet paper roll, mixed media | 4.5h x 4 inches diameter | unique
all artworks courtesy of JHB gallery, new york

 

 

‘in the midst of the first hours following the announcement of the lockdown, I too found myself unexpectedly shaken by fear,’ laramée shares about the collective feeling of panic during the pandemic. ‘…I was in the studio, struggling with my mixed feeling about the whole thing. suddenly I saw the image of a toilet paper volcano in my mind and I burst out in a roar of laughter. I did not have any rolls near me, so I had to steal one from the public washroom of the building. I raced back to the studio and an hour later I had the first example in my hands. it all came about so quickly – the floodgates opened. I took a picture on my phone, posted it on facebook the same evening and received a great response.’

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper diary volcano #3: the ashes again everywhere. crater gutted., 2020
carved toilet paper roll, mixed media | 4.50h x 4 inches diameter | unique

 

 

the sculptures depict volcanoes in varying states of activity — from dormant vegetation-lined slopes, to ominously smoking craters and full-blown vesuvius. each work is accompanied by a haiku-like title that offers a counterpoint to the sculpture, creating a space for reflection on the anxieties our current global circumstances have provoked.

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper diary volcano #5: the rain falls upon the ashes., 2020 [also main image]
carved toilet paper roll, mixed media | 4.50h x 4 inches diameter | unique

 

 

‘toilet paper diary volcanoes’ draw on the artist’s background in anthropology. in documenting a panic in which illogical stockpiling may have little to do with actual need, laramée extends his longstanding interest in the gap between material reality and the often distorted narratives we use to understand our world. ‘from the onset, I realized that this diary was going to be about mind-states, more than the factual reality of the pandemic,’ laramée continues. ‘it still strikes me how the pandemic formalized the victory of the quantitative over the qualitative. number of infections, number of hospitalizations, number of deaths…’

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper diary volcano #7: the end of winter. it was deemed extinct., 2020
jumbo toilet paper roll, standard paper roll, pigments and resin | 3.5 h x 9 inches diameter | unique

 

 

the series can be interpreted from multiple perspectives: as memento mori — symbols of bottled-up anxieties that precede the pandemic; or, an analogy for the explosive creativity the artist experienced in pursuit of this daily project. laramée intends to continue working on the series throughout the shutdown — the series to date may be viewed in its entirely on JHB GALLERY’s artnet page here.

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper diary volcano #7: the end of winter. it was deemed extinct., 2020
jumbo toilet paper roll, standard paper roll, pigments and resin | 3.5 h x 9 inches diameter | unique

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper diary volcano #8: april. a flower of fire., 2020
standard toilet paper roll, pigments, carbonization and fixative | 6 x 4 inches diameter | unique

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper diary volcano #10: the boil. sulfurous., 2020
carved toilet paper roll, mixed media | 6h x 4 x inches diameter | unique

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper diary volcano #16: white flag?, 2020
carved toilet paper roll, mixed media | 7h x 5 inches (diameter) | unique

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper diary volcano #18: an explosion of figures and curves. smoke screen., 2020
toilet paper roll, polyester pelon depilation strip roll (volcano), paper towels, toilet paper pulp, inks, pigments, graphite, fixative | 18h x 5 inches (diameter) | unique

guy laramée intricately carves volcanoes from toilet paper rolls as a diary during lockdown
toilet paper diary volcano #19: and the ashes of their empty world fell upon them like a slow rain of a broken dream. a dream., 2020
polyester pelon depilation strip roll, toilet paper dust, pigments, graphite powder, fixative | 13h x 6 inches (diameter) | unique

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