Michelle Laxalt

At its core, my artwork is motivated by my curiosity for the body, its vulnerability, and its eventual exhaustion. In recent work, I address this interest through reimagining my memories involving caregiving, death, and superstitious family rituals derived from folk medicine. Using clay, fibers, and cast-off bodily materials, I create sculptural forms and textiles that allude to the body or its absence. My use of realism exists on a spectrum: while some forms are highly rendered or referential, others are more abstract and vague. I aim to evoke visceral sensations similar to those I experienced while caregiving, which ranged from curiosity to anxiety to empathy. The sculptures tend to be visually severe in the way that they are modelled and fragmented, and I aim to maintain a tenderness in my material handling to balance this severity with emotional warmth.