Lara Kate Marshall
ARTIST FOR THE AMAZON
Lara Kate Marshall is a multi-disciplinary creative of NZ European and Malay Orang Asal / Chinese descent with home roots in Te Tai o Poutini ( West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand).
An extensive background in event production, studies in Fashion and Textiles at the Istituto Europeo Di Design in Milan and training in Graphic Design have given LKM a strong sense of creative direction and practical talent that has been carefully crafted through these constantly intersecting industries.
Her works are a balance of considered intricacy, playful escapism and spiritual connectedness underpinned by a focus on environmental conservation and the exploration of how art can facilitate mass awareness and encourage positive change.
As an Artist, I feel a personal responsibility to utilise my creativity for the greater good and purpose of the world. A true love and passion for the environment has always been a large part of my upbringing and cultural heritage and the Amazon has always held a place dear to my heart as a hub of biodiversity, mystery and natural wonder. The Amazon has multiple elements that have attracted me with a fascination for both the natural world as well as a reservoir of mythology and anthropology. Ancient knowledge held within indigenous cultures abounds amidst sacred and rare biota, environmental treasures that deserve unwavering protection and reverence. There is a spiritual discord found in the insane destruction that humanity wrecks upon our incredible environment and it is a privilege and an honour to support, champion and fight for our forests and their inhabitants as much as I can.
There is an indigenous Maori word that we use in New Zealand which is ‘Kaitiakitanga’. This translates to ‘guardianship’ or ‘protection’ and is used in relation to the land and people who are intrinsically connected. I want my children and their children to see my actions and artworks as a form of ‘Kaitiakitanga’ for our global forests, and in the process instil a sense of this responsibility and urgency in those who encounter my art.
The practice of art has always been a cathartic and restorative practice for me and it has been instrumental in working through the exploration of my identity, both European, Chinese and indigenous Kadazan Malay. I grew up on a farm surrounded by native bush in Te Tai o Poutini (the West Coast of New Zealand) so the immersion and connection with the wild environment has been extremely formative for me and my values. I have recently felt a great correlation behind the preservation of cultural heritage (especially the connection to the tribes within the endangered forests of Borneo) and the conservation of our native environment and I see art as a beautiful way to honour the two.
As a creative and event producer, my work spans across multiple disciplines and formats. My most recent endeavours explore the density and rich character of how the traditional format of oil paintings can bring the intimacy of nature ‘to life’ and how these ‘environmental portals’ provide the viewer with a mental respite or ‘space to breathe’ within residential or commercial settings. I am also in the midst of exploring sculptural installations using foraged organic materials and discovering how different forms and textures can create intrigue with, most importantly, a minimal impact on the earth.