KRISTEN Lawrence never met her maternal grandmother Gwenyth Banks, but feels she knows her. "She passed away before I was born, but I handmade a book [during my Bachelor of Creative Industries] about how I know her through the photos and stories that my mum tells me and things like that," Ms Lawrence, 23, said.
"She was such a big personality in our family, it's about how she's still kind of there, even though she's not physically there."
It inspired her to explore for her major work the impact that people, objects and memories have on our lives. She pressed doilies that had been passed down through both sides of her family into clay and made 51 ceramic plates.
Different people and places and memories that we have make up who we are and what we do.Kristen Lawrence
She created three cyanotype images, overlaying doilies on photos of her mother aged 21, her paternal grandmother on her wedding day and her maternal grandmother striking a pose.
She also printed on metal an image of the Snowy River, where her family spends time each year.
"My main message is how different people and places and memories that we have make up who we are and what we do," she said. "So much of what I do and who I am is what my family have done for me. It's about how important and significant those memories are in forming who we are as people and it's reminding people of those special things they might have forgotten and sparking those moments of 'Ah, I did that with my Mum'."
She graduated from the University of Newcastle on Wednesday.
Her major work of 61 pieces is being shown in her first solo exhibition, Lace and Lineage.
It is showing 10am to 3pm Friday to Sunday at new Adamstown gallery, Wabi Sabi.
"It's incredible to see them up on the wall and have that lightbulb moment of 'I did this'. It's exactly how I pictured it would be, if not better."
She is now studying for a Master's of Primary Teaching.