A Professional Photographic Artist, residing in Toronto, ON, Laura Jane Petelko’s work explores the psychology of ones identity and self-image, simultaneous with transformation and transcendence. Her most recent work, ‘Soft Stories,’ charts new territory for Petelko, as it generates a phantasmagoria quality and demonstrates an unfamiliar beauty. Exhibited throughout Canada and the United States, with features at Scope Miami 2018 and Scope New York 2019, Petelko’s ‘Soft Stories’ exudes artistic quality.
Inspired from a conversation about ‘Furries’ - a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics - this work began to take shape. Petelko began to recognize a strange paradigm between, one that connects rather than separates, something elemental. She identified a desperate need for intimacy in a technological world; a collective longing to commune with nature at a time of environmental crisis, and for Petelko it became important to create tangible yet anonymous characters.
In meticulously created costumes (Sara Wood/Artist and Designer) made from artificial plastics, polymers and acrylics, Petelko photographs ones that resembled animals in Northern Canadian landscapes. Sensual and lush, yet imperfect, this work is about the beautiful world that we tread upon with need and appetite. It conveys the creation of distance in today’s modern world and the beauty that invariably exists behind the artifice, longing to thrive. Moreover, Petelko explores the soft, quiet damaged nature of human longing amongst collective nature.