William J. Laing was born in Glasgow, Scotland and immigrated to Canada in 1960. He studied at the Vancouver School of Art then at Brighton Polytechnic in England and then received his Masters Degree from the Royal College of Art in London, England in 1974.
From 1974 to 1977, Bill Laing was an instructor in Printmaking, Photography, and Design at the Alberta College of Art. In 1977, he became a faculty member at the University of Calgary, where he is currently Full Professor and engaged as head of the Printmaking Department. Laing’s dedication to his profession gained him the University of Calgary’s Student Union Teaching Excellence Award in 1992/93, 2003/2004, 2010/20112, 2011/2012, and 2012/2013 . He has exhibited in over 500 group shows and 47 solo shows across Canada and around the world and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (R.C.A.) Most recently, Laing was elected Honorary Fellow of The Royal Society of Painters and Printmakers (London, England) and was recently appointed to the order of the University of Calgary. Laing is married to artist, Barbara Milne.
This series of prints and constructions reflect on the experience of looking and looking through layers that combine to form complex images of nature. Interior space juxtaposes with exterior. Botanical patterns on lace are a veil through which the landscape appears.
In the constructions, scale shifts into miniature: a branch cutting is an imagined tree against an etched detail of landscape while clear plexiglass becomes a reflective pool. These works ponder the question of how we see, imagine and respond to the natural world.