Laura Arena is a multidisciplinary artist, activist, designer and curator living in Brooklyn, New York. Arena has exhibited in galleries and festivals and participated in events in the North America, Europe, and in the Middle East. She has attended residencies and workshops in Greenland, Iceland, Romania, Hungary, Palestine, Greenland, Turkey and the U.S.A.
Arena’s work includes photography, video, installation, writing and interventions with a focus on storytelling, human rights issues, game play, race and identity. Arena has managed a Brooklyn art gallery called Lucky Gallery and currently runs a project space called DE-CONSTRUKT [projekts] which hosts international artists and events.
“The Origin of Water, The Origin of a People – highlights my work in Ilulissat Greenland, in North Carolina with my tribe Lumbee Nation and at Standing Rock, standing with the water protectors in North Dakota. It is words, images and videos of a journey all part of an ongoing project titled “Learning How to Fly.” A project in self-discovery of my roots, after years of moving endlessly, in many different places around the world, I learned something, ‘Without knowledge of your roots; you can’t learn how to fly’
‘Learning How to Fly’ is dedicated to my mother, Helen Marie Jacobs, a Lumbee, the largest Native American Tribe east of the Mississippi, unrecognized by the US government. She died on April 7th 2000. She took with her, her history, her stories, and her understandings. Through reflecting, researching, writing, designing, exploring and doing I am connecting to her and my ancestors spiritually, emotionally and physically. Through the journey of this past year I have found my voice as a proud Native American woman more deeply connected to my roots and able to stand tall, especially now in face of so many challenges due to recent current events.”