Lara Merrett is a visual artist known for her large-scale abstract paintings. Her practice incorporates traditional stretched canvases and installations where painted drop sheets are hung from the ceiling or left in loose mounds for viewers to wade through. Drop sheets emerged in her practice when she started using more inks and large amounts of water in her paintings, therefore requiring her to paint on the ground, her canvases resting on layers of drop sheets. After a while she couldn’t ignore the marks, forms and colours that started to emerge on the sheets below. They had their own intensity and vibrancy. Her paintings are visually stunning, absorbing—watery colour fields that suggest painting as a performative act full of experimentation and accidents. This also helps to give the works freshness, an energy that is difficult to divorce from the human hand, but that also lends the canvas its own kind of authority, giving it a bold and wonderful life of its own.
Lara Merrett (b. 1971, Melbourne, Australia) lives and works in Sydney, Australia. She studied painting at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain before completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in 1996, and graduating with a Master of Arts (Painting) the following year. She has exhibited extensively in Australia and abroad, received numerous awards and is represented in important private and public collections internationally.