Fermented Feelings: Solo Exhibition by Ida Lawrence

7 - 14 April 2022

Art is a form of self-expression, transforming thoughts into shapes and forms to be understood by many. Transforming those thoughts can be a process of understanding the experiences for the creator itself. And after the artwork is /done, it becomes an immortalized depiction of one’s memory. 


While the artist paints over the blank canvas, they pour part of themselves onto them. Whatever the topics, whether it’s personal or world’s problems, in any art there will always be personal thoughts or touches from the artist brushed in. An artwork will always be special and personal, since a finished piece is an actualization of one’s mind.


This is very true for Ida Lawrence, as Ida uses artwork as a medium to tell stories of Ida’s life and journey. Ida is an artist in residence in several countries, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Australia. She is currently based in Berlin, Germany. Ida graduated from a Sydney art school in an old gaol with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and received First Class Honour in Sculpture from Sydney College of Arts which is located at a former mental asylum.


Just like a diary, Ida uses her canvases to write and draw down her stories. Ida’s artwork mostly combines texts and images. Ida collages them into a beautiful composition following the narrative that she created.


Most of Ida’s works involved ordinary and everyday things that we see. The type of things that we may have just overlooked. Ida gives meaning to them by her stories, experiences, observations, and research about and/or around them. Ida’s works are also heavily influenced by her multicultural background and her travels in between the said countries and its cities.



In Fermented Feelings, Ida shares memories from her time in Indonesia. This series shares Ida’s nostalgic stories of travels and family and cultural differences that Ida had experienced. This series also serves as Ida’s reflection and recollection of her time in Indonesia as she worked these from Berlin.


The title includes the word ‘fermented’ which has a similar process as rotting. The imaginary can be seen as she played with repeated images as it began and ended up ‘fermented’ and as literal as showing certain fermented food. She found these everyday items interesting and she explored its relation with cultural differences she experienced and topics of travel and family. Ida mainly explored it from a travelling tradition in Indonesia, which is giving gifts/souvenirs from the place that we just visited for family and friends back home or so called ‘oleh-oleh’. She is intrigued by items brought in or from travel as each of them carry out stories personal to others. Ida also shares some cultural differences from some little acts, small talks and gestures from the locals. Again, the kind of things that could be missed out but Ida found a way to narrate them interestingly. 


Ida shows some playfulness in the series as her narrative context is not always literal. She laced in packs of absurd experiences, giving more character to her stories even if they are mostly from everyday situations. Ida also combined her multicultural background, even more recontextualizing the stories, and she played with colors and composition. Tying all paintings in the series with Ida stylistic choice, painting in two toned hues - reds and blues. Ida also shows unique compositions commonly shown in her artworks, where she utilises a lot of the negative space.


In ‘Fermented Feelings', sharing its name with the series, she talks about a story of bringing fruits as ‘oleh-oleh’ for her family in Java, Indonesia. She uses a lot of imagery of raffia, commonly used to tie up boxes, as the main shape tying the painting. She also explored different textures, mainly driven from salak / snake fruits. Various things in daily life can be seen from a very interesting point in Ida's work.

Installation Views