Rocklyn Academy

I did a presentation in May 2010, for an all girls school in Rocklyn, showing my work and processes and some of the stories surrounding the Matriarchal society of my heritage and one of the girls wrote this beautiful article for the local newspaper.

As LauraLee Harris begins her presentation at Rocklyn Academy I can't help but notice the change in the air. LauraLee is an artist, a storyteller, a poet and an inspiration to today's generation of women. She is here to show us her paintings on wood. A unique beauty lays hidden in the wood canvas that is carefully chosen by her searching and knowledgeable eyes.

LauraLee came to my school and not only explained her art to us, but allowed us a glimpse of what it is that she sees in a seemingly simple piece of wood. 'A quest to discover the unknown' is how LauraLee describes her artistic journey. She remains in a constant search for the unknown, so that it can become known not only to herself, but the people who enjoy her art.

Nature inspires Lauralee and this inspiration shines through her work and her personality. As she sat in front my fifteen fellow classmates, and myself, not a hint of intimidation or judgment was shown. Instead she recognized in us an artistic value, which in some cases may have been left unexplored. She taught us that inner trust is more important than any other trust that you may acquire over the years.

LaureLee's art is a constant flow of movement without pause. It's like the pureness of poetry, but with paint, a continual flow of coloured paint. With a contagious laughter and a captivating passion, LauraLee showed the Rocklyn girls that no plans are needed to find the truth in art – she uses no sketches, no preconceived images and no expectations for what lays ahead in her artistic voyage.

Each piece of LauraLee's art portrays one of the many First Nations historical legends or myths, stories that have been pushed to the side or ignored by modern western culture. She draws close to the edge of the forgotten. Her works are keeping alive the lessons and wisdom found in these legends. Thanks to people like her, who still care and acknowledge these histories we can all feel the power of them.

With a philosophy that embraces the journey of discovering the unknown, LauraLee makes for an interesting conversation topic. I knew her for two hours and I will most likely never meet her again, but I was honoured and appreciative of the time that I had to enjoy her awe-inspiring presence. You may ask, what was the artistic and philosophical message that LauraLee left behind for me to realize? As a seventeen-year-old girl some things may be lost on me, however that was not the case in this scenario. LauraLee believed that no matter what you do, where you do it, or why you do it, to get the most out of the artistic life you have to look inside yourself and trust what you see. Trust it even if it is not what you considered beautiful, because in the words of LauraLee K. Harris, experiencing an honest look into yourself is the true beauty behind every piece of art.

By -Raina Khan