Student Conversation - Lara Mesanza Burke
"I think art or design should be appreciated for what it is, as in, if it’s well made, well painted, good skills and talent, not some story about how this video installation represents the love I have for my pet dog. So I guess I am inspired by well made things."
On her influences:
I have always been interested in the analytical and mathematical side to design. I really like symmetry and precision, because, like in mathematics, there is always a correct answer, so if you do the working out right, your equations etc, you know the final result/product will be exactly what you wanted it to be, no room for error. I take pride in the fact that I calculate every single folding angle individually, it shows that the work is hand-made and hand-thought.
There isn’t a specific artist or style of architecture or muse that influences me or maybe there is and I’m just not conscious of it. I think art or design should be appreciated for what it is, as in, if it’s well made, well painted, good skills and talent, not some story about how this video installation represents the love I have for my pet dog. So I guess I am inspired by well made things. Although, Cappy Counard, an American artist, her stuff is unbelievable. She creates these bespoke vessels that serve very simple purposes. She created this extremely elaborate cage for pearls. It looks insanely complicated, yet is a beautiful structure. It opens up and has another vessel inside, which opens in a completely different way, and so on until you get to the core, which stores a little pearl.
On her final pieces:
I always wanted the structure of the bag to be metal, because I thought it was different. I did try it out in other materials such as polypropylene but when I tried to fold it, it would melt and warp but the best material I could use was aluminum. It is durable, really light weight, cheap and can be laser cut. These are not
just pretty objects, they are functional bespoke clutch bags. I do love detail though. I think it’s important that you consider everything, the material, the colour, the shape. I wanted the pieces to be professional and have a pristine finish instead of appearing like heavy clunky things with massive badly made rivots or hinges. This is why I used special screws instead of hand made rivots, or used powder coating instead of anodizing. It gives the work a cleaner and more delicate finish. I would like to carry on designing similar bags and play around with perspex, colour, chromes, so that you can appreciate the skeletal structure of the bags. I feel design and functionality come hand in hand and don’t want to make ornamental structures with no purpose or function.
It’s been an insane journey, I came over to Ireland a week after my mum passed away. Having lived in Spain all my life, suddenly I moved to Dublin to start a degree. I think I have learnt a lot, but I think everyone does in college, the independence, the responsibility, friends. I’ve loved it though. I’d never done anything that wasn’t drawing and painting and here I had tutors telling me to dip my shoes in white paint and use them as a paintbrush, it made me see things from a different perspective. I’ve learnt that I love making, and designing, and that I am more of an analytical and logical thinker.