Laura Sorvala

Instead of boxing people into separate categories on a scale of difference, can we look for the common threads of humanity? In a time of rising xenophobia and racism, we find media outlets, politicians and individuals resorting to defensive mindsets in fear of the unknown. Boundaries between ‘us’ and ‘others’ are drawn swiftly and decisively, with blame targeted to one dimensional understandings of identity.

With Outside the Box, artist Laura Sorvala collects and draws acts of solidarity and kindness that individuals have experienced in their everyday life, be it in the local neighbourhood, school, workplace or on public transport. She asks individuals to share their stories by collecting responses on social media and by building these stories into a colourful cardboard box sculpture, reminding us of empathy that crosses borders and of the power of small, positive actions. Laura will be working on the artwork throughout Who Are We?offering opportunity for people to see the work in progress and contribute to it.

If you would like to contribute to the artwork, find out more on Laura’s blog.

Laura ran Outside the Box Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 March 2017.

About the artist

Laura Sorvala is a Finnish illustrator and artist based in Cardiff, Wales. She is interested in mapping individual stories and experiences into visual group narratives; she uses graphic visual style and comic book language to uncover shared experiences and different viewpoints. Laura’s work is often inspired by interactions between everyday people and the current social climate. She has done commissions and residencies for Art Across The City, Chapter Arts Centre, Transeuropa Festival, Cardiff Contemporary and The Chartist Commission.

You can also get in touch with Laura via:

– Email:

– Facebook

– Twitter or Instagram: Use the hashtag #OutsideBoxArt and tag Laura @_auralab