Laia Abril uses photography to address topics that don’t lend themselves easily to representation. Although it is rooted in journalism and documentary practice, her work is transformative rather than descriptive. Bringing together fact, fiction and emotion, Abril invites audiences to engage with complex and sometimes difficult narratives.

Laia Abril uses photography to address topics that don’t lend themselves easily to representation. Although it is rooted in journalism and documentary practice, her work is transformative rather than descriptive. Bringing together fact, fiction and emotion, Abril invites audiences to engage with complex and sometimes difficult narratives.More

Abril is drawn to subjects that resist a conventional documentary approach: previous projects have dealt with issues including sexuality, morality, and mental illness. Though she seeks to challenge the viewer, Abril avoids shocking imagery or polemics, preferring to work in more evocative and metaphorical ways. Her aim is not to make explicit political statements, but to create a space where audiences can find empathy with her subjects and involve themselves imaginatively with their stories.

Each new body of work is based on extensive visual and production research around a theme or concept. The resulting narratives often take a non-linear form, incorporating fact, emotion and sensation across a range of different elements and platforms. Abril combines her own photographs with archival images, objects and text, sound and moving image, creating installations, books, and editorial-style narratives that present challenging subject matter in inventive and playful ways.

Abril’s work gives viewers the opportunity to explore issues that they might otherwise avoid. At the heart of her practice is a strong ethical stance: a desire to recount sensitive topics without bias, to open minds, to create awareness and bring about change.

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