Lauren Playfair

Pull yourself together, 2020

Photograph, glass beads and cotton thread


This work is a response to a beaded elastic bracelet surrendered by its owner for reasons unknown to me. It was well worn, the elastic brittle and distended, no longer in shape but still holding on.

I wanted to deconstruct the bracelet, to snip a thread and slip the beads free, to make it into something new. However after I struggled to free a few rows of beads I became frustrated with their fiddly stubbornness and unwillingness to let go. It was as if it didn’t want to give up its inherent ‘bracelet-ness.’

Pull yourself together represents my own willful ‘picture of myself’ that I try to maintain. The beads now link and hold together my own childhood hands, they represent the little moments, memories and expectations that contribute to the self-image that I have formed.

There is a simultaneous desire to hold myself together, and a fear that this ‘identity’ is just something made up. What would happen if I let go?

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Lauren Playfair is an Adelaide artist and teacher. She is fascinated by the photographic world and is a collector and interrogator of images. Her practice explores the impact of the photographic image and its unique power in creating and influencing personal realities. Working predominantly with photography and installation, Lauren completed a Master of Visual Arts in 2013 at the University of South Australia. Her work has been exhibited at the CACSA project space, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in Hatched ‘10, in group shows at FELTspace, SASA Gallery, Light Square Gallery and at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation with Shoot Collective.


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