Laura Ferguson is a self taught artist from New York. Born in 1947 with scoliosis
, and a sufferer of osteoarthritis
, she was forced to give up her former job as a graphic designer
and decided to become an artist. She centers most of her ideas around her own body's skeletal system.
Ferguson has had many x-rays, MRI's, and 3D Spiral CT scans in her years, so she became interested in the skeletal system. She began to work with radiologists and orthopedists to use and veiw the medical images of her body. Her art helps her cope with her scoliosis and osteoarthritis. She says, "Art turns pain into beauty. Creating images of myself has been empowering and given me back the sense of ownership of my body."
In studying anatomy with Irene Dowd, who teaches at Juilliard School and the National Ballet of Canada, she can better understand and draw her subjects. "I want to convey how our insides are as much a part of us as our outsides and that we should be able to really feel that sense of greatfulness and wholeness."
Most of her paintings contain nude female bodies with parts of the skeleton showing. She uses earth tones on pages that have been previously treated with oil prints and bronze powders. This technique is called using muilt-layered works using the floating colors. The colors that she use create calming effects, but they can also be intimidating.
She was commissioned by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to create a key art piece for the traveling exibition, "Emotion Pics." Her art is shown in Noho Gallery, Snug Harbor Culture Center, Center for Book Arts, Dance Theatre Workshop, and at the Cornell University Medical College. She also has works in private collections in Great Britian and Latin America. Some of her work is featured and critiqued in Bettyann Kevle's book, "Naked to the Bone: Medical Imaging in the 20th Century." Her current project is "The Invisible Skeleton Series."