Artist in residence profile
Lauren McLaughlin is the artist in residence at Edinburgh College. The Artist in Residency (AIR) programme welcomes emerging artists and designers who have studied at the college in the past to work in the college’s state-of-the-art studios. The AIR programme gives students the opportunity to work alongside talented artists to develop their own creative practice.
This morning I gave a presentation to the first and second year students about my art practice and current work. I was delighted that so many students came along to listen, and ask me questions about my work and processes. One of the questions I was asked was ‘Why do you exhibit?’ The question came as a response to something I had talked about earlier, I spoke about my degree show work; Announcement, which posed questions around the relationships between personal revelations and public disclosure, public and private settings, autobiography and advertising. One of the questions I wanted the piece to provoke was ‘who do we make work for?’ The phrase ‘I’ve had a breakthrough’ is a selfish revelation therefore why present it to an audience? It’s these kinds of dilemma’s and discourse that I wanted to promote through the work.
When asked this question today however, I struggled to answer it. Why do I exhibit? I’ve been thinking about it for the rest of the day.
The desire to create and to make work, has always been present but what really drives my practice is the ability to make people listen. The power of the visual can far outweigh the spoken and written word; something I have been reading about recently in Seeing is believing: the politics of the visual (Rod Stoneman, 2013). For me, communicating visually is far easier than by by any other means, and I have the strong desire to be heard. As a woman and a single mother, I’ve been undermined and undervalued in many areas of my life and therefore by exhibiting my work I am able to highlight the issues which are important to me in a way that makes people pay attention.
Motherhood is highly undervalued in our society, as well as in art history/contemporary practices. Being a single mother even more so, not to mention the stereotype that comes along with it. This is my life, it affects me and therefore its what I make work about and why I want to exhibit…. the personal is political. I want my work to highlight and place value on the domestic processes and actions involved in mothering, to highlight the ever present gender gaps in both work and family life, to examine the female stereotypes we are still faced with everyday, and to force people to pay attention.
I guess it’s easy to lose sight of the reasons why we make work, and exhibit said work and so I’m really glad to have had the opportunity to remind myself why I do it.
I took part in an exhibition at the weekend at The Galley in Carlisle with four other ex Contemporary Art Practice students, here’s a few photos!
The Galley Arts 21st-23rd March 2014
David Hutton, Caroline Gooch, Kailah Searle-Scott, Mairi Singleton, Lauren McLaughlin
Now that I’m nicely settled into the college and the AIR studio, I guess its about time for my introductory post!
I’ve been here for a few weeks now, taking over from the lovely Hayley Mathers who gave me lots of useful advice and insights into her time as AIR over the past few months. Hayley’s show; ‘SUN’ was held at the Sculpture Workshops a couple of weeks ago and it was great to see the work she produced during her time at the college. I wrote a wee review of the show which you can have a read of here: http://2-1-4-1.com/Exhibition-Review-and-Artist-Interview-SUN-Hayley-Mathers
Having a studio again has been fantastic, since graduating in 2012 I’ve been working from home on my kitchen table which really isn’t ideal when the table has to be used for eating dinner, doing your child’s homework and making art all at the same time. In saying that, the whole process has really informed my practice over the past year or so and my hope is that these ideas and processes of working will be able to be developed in a larger and more coherent scale in the studio – but more on that later.
At the moment, I am working on a piece which will be part of a group exhibition at The Galley Arts in Carlisle (21st March – 23rd March). Myself and four other exCAPers; Caroline Gooch, David Hutton, Kailah Searle-Scott and Mairi Singleton will be exhibiting together for the first time and all showing brand new work. You can find out more about that here: https://www.facebook.com/events/605089156242995/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
I’ll be posting updates throughout my time as AIR, and keeping you up to date with studio developments and such like but in the meantime here are some links to my website etc if you want to know more about my practice.
Here’s some images of studio developments so far…
It gives us great pleasure to welcome Lauren McLaughlin to the Fine Art team at Edinburgh College. Lauren is a graduate of the HND Contemporary Art Practice course completing her studies in the former Telford College in 2011 before going on to study Fine Art at Central St Martins College of Art in London.
Since graduating in 2012 Lauren has returned to Edinburgh and took up a post at Arusha Gallery and continues to exhibited widely through the UK including, London, Oxford and Edinburgh. She has also been published in various art periodicals and websites and is an active member of the Glasgow based artists collective 2/1/4/1
Lauren is already fully engaged in the AIR studio and is working towards a group exhibition at the Galley Gallery in Carlisle where she will exhibit with a group of former Edinburgh College CAP colleagues. The exhibition opens on Friday 21st March.
Lauren will be blogging throughout her residency and you can follow her progress here. In the meantime you can see more of Laurens work on her website: http://laurenmclaughlinfineart.com/
Taking inspiration from the work of Henri Matisse the exhibition over 3 days at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop marked the culmination of the highly successful residency at Edinburgh College Granton for ex student Hayley Mathers.
During the residency, Hayley has researched a range of artists from some of the most influential periods in art history. By repeating their actions and replicating their work, she has gained an understanding of their vision and shared their working methods with the creative industry students. The Edinburgh-based artist, who studied HND Public Art at Edinburgh College, also explored how classical artists continue to inspire illustrators, designers and artists today.
“During my residency at Edinburgh College, I have become really interested in the methods and techniques of learning as an artist. I chose Matisse because I love his use of colour and pattern, particularly in his cut-outs. He cut out shapes from coloured paper and pinned them onto paper until he was happy with his composition. I wanted to step into his shoes to an extent and attempt to understand what it would have been like to approach image-making like this.”
“The artists in residence programme at Edinburgh College has allowed me to immerse myself in my practice and has been an excellent opportunity to work with both the students and the tutors. I feel privileged to be involved in the students’ creative process and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do in the future.”
The images below are from the exhibition opening: