Edinburgh College profile current AIRetc… Lauren McLaughlin

Artist in residence profile 
Lauren McLaughlin

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.

Lauren, who studied HND Contemporary Art Practice at Edinburgh College, has exhibited at several reputable exhibitions across the UK including Valentines Mansion in London, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshops, the 2|1|4|1 Members Show at SWG3 Glasgow and the 03 Gallery, Oxford. She uses a mixture of mediums to create striking pieces, including sculpture, photography, installations and is best known for her collages.
What was the best part of your course at college?
For me, the best part was the variety of projects and activities I took part in during my time at college. Through participating in group projects, working with fellow students as well as numerous educational visits to galleries and artists spaces, we learnt so much and gained so many experiences in a relatively short period of time.
How has the college supported you or set you up as an artist?
The lecturing staff on the course were definitely a major source of support and encouragement. Their dedication not only to their current students but the continued support of the alumni throughout their careers is fantastic. During my time at college we also had a lot of visiting artists and lecturers, which really gave us a great insight into a professional arts career and prepared me for life after college.
Click on the link to read the article and interview with Lauren in full:
You can also find out more about Lauren and our previous AIRetc… artists on the new “The Artists” page on the AIRetc… blog:
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Why do I Exhibit?

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.


Announcement. 2012.

Announcement. 2012.

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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

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Hello from the studio

messy studio

messy studio

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.




tweet @lauren_artist

Here’s some images of studio developments so far…

plastecene sculptures

plastecene sculptures


collage developments

collage developments

collage on perspex

collage on perspex

collage on perspex

collage on perspex


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AIRetc… welcomes Lauren McLaughlin.

Lauren McLaughlin Studio 1897002_10152152514152649_151016379_n

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/

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SUN an exhibition of new work by AIRetc… Hayley Mathers at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop

SUN by Hayley Mathers

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.”

Hayley added:

“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:

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8. Making notes on our combined interests

In the order they were shared on the morning of the 6th of December 2013


John F Kennedy – Jacqueline Kennedy – Aristotle Onassis – Maria Callas

Five years after the assassination of John F Kennedy, his widow Jacqueline married the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who  had been in a relationship with the opera singer Maria Callas. Despite his marriage to Jacqueline, Aristotle and Maria continued to see each other for the rest of their lives.


Images of how Aristotle and Jacquelines marriage was reported

Maria talks about her relationship with Aristotle and Jaqueline.


Physics, Einstein and Field Equations.

An attempt to understand the equations formulated by Einstein and his peers to explain the world.


Diagrams drawn while listening to lectures and watching documentaries

Linking to Rebecca’s interest in the cross over and relationship between biology and art.


Discovering the work of c-lab, specifically the Rose for Mars and the Cactus Project.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 00.06.12

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 00.01.06

The artist involved in these projects exhibited in Edinburgh’s Inspace in 2012 on this project Nanomagnetic Plants

Josh then introduced us to his project on male pattern baldness, an interest of his which is driven by a fear of losing his own hair.

We were shown this video as an example of the lengths that some will go to, and the delusion which results


male pattern baldness

Josh also demonstrated his impressive ability to recall the heights of male celebrities.

Jen told us about 3D printing and the possibilities of its use.

We spoke about this article on printing dangerous objects and this article on the growing availability of 3D printing facilities. This led us on to talking about replicas and originals.

3D models of Oliver Wainwright and Sophie Heawood

Shareen told us about the artist Gregor Schneider, his projects often involve rooms and empty spaces. In 1985 he made Haus u r, where he built new rooms inside the existing rooms to conceal the structure of the building and interrupt the visitor’s awareness of their surroundings. Over the years visitors have had ‘frightening experiences’ inside the house.

Photo 1: HAUS U R, Rheydt 1985 - 2007

This reminded me of a tunnel I had heard about that runs between the St Andrews Square branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland and The Dome which was once a bank, this is apparently where the bank kept their collection of artworks. When the second bank was bought over and became a bar the tunnel was closed off.

Sobia showed us a timeline that she had made to show the life Malcolm X. Each part of his life contradicted what came before it and spurred a transformation in him and those who followed him.

2013-12-09 12.01.472013-12-09 12.01.51

Malcolm X’s is a complex story that defies a simplistic narrative, we talked about the way stories like these are represented.

Kaitlyn introduced us to the Panharmonicon, a magnificent music box/instrument which could be pre-programmed to play a piece of music. Johann Nepomuk Mälzel created the instrument in 1805 and asked Beethoven to compose a piece for it. This collaboration supposedly started an argument as Beethoven mistakenly believed that Mälzel was planning to sell his instrument along with the music. Beethoven chased him around Europe and threatened to sue his former friend. Mälzel later claimed that he had never had any intention of selling it.



The way the Panharmonicon worked reminded us of this Fischili and Weiss video


Fischili and Weiss

And finally Andrea – who had been exploring ideas and research about memory based on an article she had found in New Scientist.

She told us about the subjectivity of your memories and the way that they change as you learn.

We touched upon Derren Browns trickery and made reference to the Black Swan dinner which had recently taken place at Rhubaba

After the meeting, Mariola – handed me a collection of note cards with quotes by the British philosopher Alan Watts. Here is my favourite of the quotes.


‘You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean’

I would like to thank everyone who took part in the project and hope that you will find this helpful in the future in whatever form is most interesting to you. I have certainly enjoyed this insight into your interests and look forward to referring back to this in the months to come.


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