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Artist ID: 2327

I AM INTERESTED IN THE DICHOTOMIES OF EMOTION ASSOCIATED WITH ONE’S RELATIONSHIP TO SPIRIT, PLACE, AND SOUL. DEFENSIVENESS AND AGGRESSION, APATHY AND EMPATHY, AND THE INEVITABILITY OF EITHER ACCEPTANCE OR RESIGNATION ARE PORTRAYED IN THESE PIECES. WHILE NAVIGATING THROUGH A WORLD OF INTIMACY AND UNCERTAINTY, OF SATISFACTION OR REGRET, I AIM TO EXPLORE THESE STAGES OF EMOTION THAT ARE DIRECTLY BOUND TO THE ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH WE LIVE, WHETHER PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY.
DUE TO CURRENT SOCIAL TRENDS AND THE RECENT COVID-19 PANDEMIC, WE ARE NOW LIVING IN A WORLD OF NEW UNCERTAINTY, DISENGAGEMENT AND ESTRANGEMENT. ADD IN QUALIFICATIONS OF PHYSICAL DISTANCE, AND OUR MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND RELATIONAL CAPACITIES SUFFER. THE PIECE, “THE GREAT DIVIDE” COMMUNICATES THIS DISTANCE, BOTH PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY, BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE. THOUGH SIX FEET MAY SEEM CLOSE IN PROXIMITY AND THE COSTUMES MAY SUGGEST A CLOSENESS AND FAMILIARITY WITH ONE ANOTHER, ONE COULD ARGUE THAT THERE IS A VAST DISTANCE OF OCEAN BETWEEN THEM- A DISTANCE WHERE ONE CANNOT TOUCH, FEEL, EMBRACE. THIS DRAWING ILLUSTRATES THE DICHOTOMY AND LAYERS OF INTIMACY AND LONGING TRIGGERED BY SEPARATION. “WHAT COULD BE FORETOLD IN THE RED CLAY BANKS BUT THE PATHS THAT LED US ASTRAY (TRAIL)” DEPICTS THE EMOTIONAL DISTANCE BETWEEN A COUPLE. HINTING AT THE STORY OF HANZEL AND GRETEL, ONE IS REMINDED OF A SERIES OF BREADCRUMBS, HOWEVER IN THIS INSTANCE, IT IS UP TO THE VIEWER TO DECIDE THE NATURE OF THE OBJECTS THAT ARE BEING DROPPED BY ONE AND PICKED UP BY THE OTHER. “UNDER THE UMBRELLA” CONNOTES THE FEELINGS OF WOMEN IN TODAY’S SOCIETY. USING STEREOTYPICAL FEMININE OBJECTS SUCH AS INTERIOR DÉCOR, RUFFLED SKIRT, AND EMBROIDERY FLOSS, COUPLED WITH THE SYMBOLISM ASSOCIATED WITH SHEEP AND WOLVES, THIS PIECE COMBINES WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FEMALE IN AN OVERLY MASCULINE-DOMINATED CULTURE AND THE CONFLICTING EMOTIONS WITH WHICH SHE MUST STRUGGLE. THIS PIECE INVITES THE VIEWER TO LOOK CLOSELY AS HIDDEN IN THE CHANDELIER ARE THE WORDS “LOST IN THE DARK.”

Lauren Alyssa Howard was born and raised in a small town in Southeastern Alabama. After moving to the Metro-Atlanta area in 1996, she attended the University of Georgia where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Drawing. Quoting her rural upbringing, Howard uses references from a particular lower-middle working class history to address identity, gender, and place. She has received multiple scholarships and awards such as the Las Damas de Arte Scholarship and the Jack and Jeanne Endowment Fellowship in Art, and most recently a fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been exhibited nationally and has most recently been shown at HERE Arts in NYC, Mammal Gallery in Atlanta, and The Jule Collins Smith Museum. Having found her way back to the South after receiving her Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of South Florida and living and working in Brooklyn, NY she is now teaching Art and Design at Auburn University.

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