Rosemary Laing

NASA- Dryden Flight Research Centre #1 (small), 1998
Type C Photograph
50.0 x 120.0 cm
Signed, dated, titled and numbered '2/3 IE' (on the reverse)

View extended notes

This work is from the brownwork series

The artist
Corporate collection, Sydney

Another from this edition was exhibited
brownwork, Annandale Galleries, Sydney, 1998

NASA-Dryden Flight Research Centre #1, (photographed 1998; printed 2001) from the brownwork series is a panoramic vista that deals with the interface between landscape and technology. Flight and speed and their associated technologies have remained a consistent thematic concern for Laing. Her desire to understand the mechanics of flight led her to undertake research projects with Qantas airlines and with NASA. This work is the result of the research she undertook at the Dryden Flight Research Centre in Los Angeles, USA.

Directly after this series came her renowned and greatly collected Flight Research series in which a bride embarks upon her own flight.

This technically mastered work is more documentary in nature than some of Laing's more performative staged interventions that can seem more metaphorical than literal. The photograph is a C-print, in which the colour dyes are added chemically during the developing creating a glossy, film-like, intensely colored panorama.

  • NASA- Dryden Flight Research Centre #1 (small)

Courtesy of the artist

View artist profile

Rosemary Laing is a photo-based artist with a painter’s eye. Her highly detailed, intentional compositions meditate upon humankind’s complicated relationship to the natural environment. The resulting images combine a sublime appreciation of the distinct Australian landscape with highly choreographed human interventions that she integrates within nature in what amounts, in essence, to a transient form of land art.

Born in 1959 in Brisbane, Laing has been working and exhibiting since the 1980s. She trained as a painter in the late-1970s before turning to photography, which was at first just a form of reference material. Laing rose to prominence with her flight research (1999) and Bulletproof glass (2002) series of floating brides, images that defy reason in their composition and surreal quality, especially since they were shot without the assistance of digital composition.

In 2017-18, Laing was the subject of a major survey of her work from the last three decades at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, Victoria. In 2015, two of her photographic series – greenwork (1995) and brownwork (1996-97) – were shown in full in Rosemary Laing: transportation, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. An earlier major survey, The Unquiet Landscapes of Rosemary Laing, was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, in 2005, touring in 2006 to Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, Denmark. She has participated in multiple biennials, including the Biennale of Sydney (2008); the Venice Biennale (2007); the Busan Biennale (2004); and the Istanbul Biennale (1995).

In 2019, Laing received the Overseas Photographer Award at the 35th Higashikawa Awards, Hokkaido, Japan, in career recognition of photographic achievements such as weather (2006); leak (2010) and Buddens (2017). A monograph on Laing’s work was published by Prestel, New York, in 2012, written by Abigail Solomon-Godeau.