Notes on my practice

Mine is a spatial practice in which I explore the poetic potential of our relationship with landscape and place. My works are intended to activate and re-mystify our connection with the more-than-human-world, to transfigure our experience of it.

I do this in a number of ways... by choreographing the viewer's movement; by tapping into the experiential potential of place; by enabling subtle and dramatic changes in the work to unfold over time; and by harnessing the dynamics of weather, orientation, topography and human involvement.

I often use repeated sculptural components arranged to draw the viewer into and through the field of a work. Thus the viewer enters both a physical space and an imaginative realm.

photo: Briele Hansen

Biographical notes

Louise is an independent installation artist who has exhibited as a finalist in national, regional and local competitions. She has received grants and prizes from respected institutions and industry bodies.

Deep creative enquiry and research-based discipline underpin her practice.

Louise graduated from RMIT University in 2000 with first-class honours in Fine Arts. She then completed five years of post-graduate doctoral research before practical pursuits overtook theoretical interests.

Early in her practice Louise produced a number of large-scale permanent and temporary commissions for public space.

In recent years she has focused on initiating collaborations with other artists to create works that implicate the viewer viw participatory or performative activities.

Download Lavarack CV July 2016

photo: Paul Myers

A Cloud of Bags

2002 (in collaboration with Briele Hansen)

Plastic shopping bags, painted steel, nylon VB cord, plastic and brass fittings, video projection

Dimensions variable (support frame 4 x 6 metres)

Hundreds of recycled plastic shopping bags form a pixellated image of a cloud in a blue sky. Each bag metaphorically reiterates the drops of moisture that form a cloud. The bags respond to the changing strength and direction of the wind – they undulate and rustle in lighter breezes, dance and crackle in stronger gusts. The image seems to be alive as the bags inflate and deflate, re-enacting the behaviour of clouds expanding or evaporating.

At nightfall the mass of bags becomes a billowing screen for a video projection of clouds speeding across the sky. The work plays the poetic against the prosaic and blurs representation with reality. The viewer perceives the natural world through the devices of a more artificial mediated world.

Commissioner: City of Melbourne Environmental Commissions
Exhibited: Melbourne City Square, August 2002
Collection: The artists

photo: Louise Lavarack and Briele Hansen



Wood, acrylic varnish, printed paper, PVA, stainless steel fittings

Dimensions variable (overall area 5.2 x 10.4 metres, poles 1.9 x 1.9 cm by 240 cm high)

Horizon fills the gallery with nearly 400 wooden poles suspended in space. This field hovers in perfectly poised tension between floor and ceiling, seemingly defying gravity. The bottom half of each pole is stained a watery green. The upper part is natural timber. Collaged around the centre of each pole is a page torn from Australian Tide Tables 2000. This delineates a jagged horizontal plane roughly bisecting the larger mass.

Shifting visual alignments of rows are apparent to a viewer moving around the perimeter. A viewer penetrating the field leaves a trail of poles wildly swinging, gyrating, flickering and occasionally knocking as they sway and settle back to stasis.

Horizon draws on ideas of charting or plotting movement through space. The shifting layers of poles evoke tidal ebb and flow as well as the vertical oscillations of an unstable horizon caught between opposing gravitational forces. Overall Horizon provides a contemplative and lyrically interactive experience for the viewer.

Exhibited: George Paton Gallery, University of Melbourne, April 2001

Collection: the artist

photo: Louise Lavarack

Grand Plan


Galvanised steel, automotive enamel

Dimensions variable (poles 4 x 4 x 270 cm, overall area 8.1 x 8.1 metres)

In neat rows on a lawn stand one hundred poles, each painted in broad bands of colour. Shifting visual patterns and optical effects are generated as the viewer moves towards and around the forest of pole. The banded poles and their grid formation suggest the work of surveyors. They also evoke a structure perhaps under construction, perhaps in demolition.

Exhibited: Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award 2001 finalist exhibition, Werribee Park, Vic, March to May 2001
Awards: Toll Popular Choice Award 2001
Collection: private collector, regional NSW

photo: Louise Lavarack

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