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Based near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Laara Cerman’s work explores the intersection of art, science, and history through investigating patches of wildness that survive within suburban and urban landscapes. Her explorations continue into the forests of British Columbia where she aims to teach herself how to see the diversity of the forest floor in the midst of an era where this knowledge has lost its priority but not its importance. Through learning about the role of plants in the ecosystem and the gifts they offer us, one becomes more conscious of the mutual connections of life and the importance of reciprocity between humans and the Earth.


Laara creates her photographic work by capturing multiple digital images and then pieces them together in post-production, a skill she has mastered through working as a freelance retoucher in the commercial photography industry. Currently she is diversifying her artistic practice to include metalwork and fiber art, showcasing her evolving exploration of various mediums. She seeks to bridge the gap between contrasting elements, from the tactile to the digital and the organic to the synthetic. 


In her creative exploration she has been drawn to timeless practices that are common around the world, ones that cross cultural boundaries such as learning about plants, working with fiber, and forming metal. While it seems that culture is very much tied to place, what then of those of us who are born far from the countries of our racial identity, with little connection to our ethnic background? It is this disconnection that has drawn her so deeply into exploring the natural world and ancient human practices. Though she is exploring age-old traditions in a contemporary manner, at the same time she is fluent in a variety of digital mediums and seeks to bring together these seemingly disparate ways of being. 


As a recipient of the inaugural David Suzuki Foundation Rewilding Arts Prize in 2022, Laara is preparing for a group exhibition with other prize recipients at the Canadian Museum of Nature in October 2024. Additionally, a selection from her series Codex Pacificus is currently touring Spain in the Ellas Illustran Botánica group exhibition. Her public artwork, ranging from 2D vinyl murals to sculptural pieces, can be found across various British Columbia municipalities. She is currently on the public art roster for the Washington State Arts Commission and for TransLink’s Public Art Roster in Vancouver.

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