The daughter of an industrial chemist for a fine art supplier, Lara grew up in Balmain surrounded by tubes of vibrant colour. With a constant supply of paint, Lara's artist mother would encourage her to use it. And to use it in abundance! This liberal use of paint inspired Lara to become an action painter where paint is deliberately poured or smeared on a canvas.
At the age of 20 Lara left Balmain to take up a post at Dubbo Regional Gallery. She fell in love with the flat land, the big skies, and the people, married into a farming family and gave birth to three beautiful boys in four years.Working in arts administration Lara continued to paint but not full time. Following two big regional shows Lara decided to apply for an artist in residence program in Ashfield which she won.
"When I was 11, I decided to paint a mural on my bedroom wall and my parents didn't even bat an eyelid"
"They gave me a house in Sydney for six months and paid me to paint!"The move didn't just mean Lara could focus on her art, it also brought her closer to her three sons, now at boarding school in Sydney. In 2014, following her residency Lara had her first solo exhibition at Dank Street Gallery in Sydney's Waterloo.The exhibition was a sell out and she hasn't looked back.
Following the success, Lara and her husband decided to move back to Sydney where Lara would set up a gallery of her own. They bought a small, three-storey block of flats on Beattie Street in Balmain which they meticulously converted into a home, studio, and gallery. "Returning to the suburb where I grew up has been wonderful. I love the village feel and the harbour is a constant inspiration to me" says Lara.
Named one of Australia's most exciting emerging contemporary visual artists, Lara is humble about her success. Lara has exhibited at more than 75 group and solo shows both in Australia and overseas and has become the go to artist for some of the world's leading interior designers, including the award-winning Greg Natale.
Depicting organic forms and fluid shapes, Lara's works are inspired by the Australian landscape and feature a beautiful translucent colour palette achieved by adding up to 40 layers of paint. A sense of fun and energy is present in every one of her works and when meeting Lara, you understand why. Her love of colour, art and family is palpable as is her love of Balmain.
Lara Scolari Gallery
201 Darling St, Balmain larascolari.com