21st September 2018

London Creative Network participant, ceramic artist Anne-Laure Cano, creates abstract sculptures to examine how we respond to emotional experiences such as memories, loss and sense of belonging. Her approach to clay challenges our expectations and perception of this medium.

“My approach to making is experimental, I love bric-à-brac and organised chaos. I surround myself with a selection of found objects, pieces I made and intentionally broke into small parts to reuse them, small pots made on the wheel and glazed with bright colours, found objects, tin cans, sand, metal. This messy lively collection of fragments, constitute the vocabulary I use to create series of abstracts sculptures that combine familiar details with unexpected elements. I am drawn into the beauty of the details, the remnants of something gone or found, anything that can be used to understand the silence and its many meanings.”

Anne-Laure’s work was recently included in the Rising Stars show at New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham and she will be exhibiting at the Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool from 29 September to 10 November for their RELIC exhibition.

What was the main motivation behind your application to the LCN programme?
Being an artist is a second career for me and I wanted to make sure I put good practice tools in place straight after graduating. I didn’t feel particularly good at running the business side of my practice and knew I needed help in that area. The LCN programme at Cockpit was offering the help I was looking for with a focus on very practical things such as bookkeeping, time management and communication. In addition to the practical help I needed, the programme would also give me the opportunity to join a community of artists and makers who are going through the same journey. Lastly the mentoring hours offered through the programme would give me the opportunity to talk about my practice and ask questions to a sector expert which is really valuable.

What is the most useful advice or tip you’ve been given on the programme so far?
LCN is giving so many good tips that it is difficult to choose only one. One session with the Cockpit team that has been a real eye opener was the session on pricing our work. It made me realise all the aspects I should consider before putting a price on my work. As well as how that price should allow me to sustain my practice. I am not good with figures but this session was really easy to follow and I’m glad I attended it.

Another key piece of advice that I have taken from the programme is about planning and breaking down each task into smaller manageable actions. Having a clear timeline of what needs to be done when makes me feel more focussed and time efficient. It allows me to have a precise idea of the opportunity I can pursue now and the ones that need to be put in the calendar for the following year. Managing my time better mean I can make informed decision for my practice and how I want it to grow. Finally I would say the programme has given me the confidence to go and ask. Ask for a testimonial, ask for help, ask for advice, get inspirations from my peers, and give back.

What new product, service, business system or projects are you introducing to your practice and why?
Being part of LCN with Cockpit has allowed me to have a broader vision about my practice and start thinking about new routes and opportunities. I am now starting to think about working in collaboration, developing site specific work and applying for residencies.

My work is now taking a more sculptural form, using a very experimental approach. I am starting to develop my work further by exploring scale and working with larger pieces. It has been great to have the time and opportunity to look at this now. This will be my first collection since graduating and signals a new branch of work for me.

What plans do you have after participating with LCN?
One of my main goals following the LCN programme is gaining visibility for my work. I now have a clearer vision of where I would like to be in the near and long term, and will keep looking for opportunities that are in line with my career aspirations. I am planning work on my website, and hope to start writing a newsletter and whilst continuing to work on communicating about my work. LCN has given me so much advice, tips and information that I have material to work with for a while and I will keep implementing what I’ve learnt at my own pace.