Multidisciplinary artist, Lauren Baker, is featuring her work at the Moniker Art Fair
These words could be a quote from a famous philosopher but instead they are spoken by contemporary artist Lauren Baker.
Petite and pixie-like with a flowing mane of red hair, Baker projects an unassuming persona. Yet strength and assertion come out in her artwork and it is evident that Baker has come into her element since becoming a multidisciplinary artist four and a half years ago. Quitting her job one day and strolling into the South American jungle the next has done wonders for her career path. Baker was 'disenchanted' with London's corporate world, and decided to find more meaning in her life with her true calling.
The moment came to her when she was deep in the Peruvian Amazon; she'd done a seven-day fast and was meditating.
'I had this epiphany that I should become an artist. I saw the visuals of exactly what I needed to make. It was very strong and I knew [what I had to do].'
Baker followed what she saw and her success since, as she burst onto the art scene, has been a tribute to that.
As I enter Baker's Hackney studio I am welcomed with offers for tea, dazzled by crystal mosaic animals and the intoxicating smell of paint rushes my senses.
I am charmed by the light, inviting vibe, but I won't go as far as to describe the space with the cliché of 'organised chaos'. Finished and ongoing artwork is dotted around the room, various labels identify her materials, and a chic radio sits on a ledge delivering classical music.
Baker explores recurring themes in her work, such as light and dark. 'It's a natural thing within me - I often create diptychs - sometimes opposites and sometimes connected pieces and it's to do with balance and harmony... There are many different sides to me and to everybody.'
Our Journey In The Dream
Materials are her real calling; using her hands to feel the different textures and patterns they can create to produce the most powerful artwork.
'I'm a kinaesthetic person so I like to touch everything.'
For her 'Transition' series she has used a mixture of pins, needles, hand-cut thorns, shards of smashed glass, slivers of metal and wood, and matches. 'I chose everyday materials yet they're also potentially harmful or dangerous,' Baker explains in her soft Middlesbrough accent.
Baker's selection of dangerous everyday materials and the fluidity, intricacy and quantity in which they are presented shows her innovative and distinctive approach to contemporary mosaics.
Working closely with art gallery Folly & Muse, Baker's 'Transition' series will be on display at the Moniker Art Fair, Thursday 15-18th October at the Old Truman Brewery. Now in its sixth edition, the fair showcases forward-thinking art fused with urban culture. Baker could not speak highly enough of Folly & Muse, detailing its support and understanding with each project.
Many exciting pieces will be taken to the fair including her neon works, limited edition screen prints - some with glow in the dark ink, others with diamond dust embellishment, new mosaic works, aura paintings and one hundred limited edition gold fingers.
The ocean in my heart
That last project requires some explaining. While exploring in South America, Baker's first artworks were mosaic hearts crafted from smashed up mirrors. Not wanting to forget where she fell in love with mosaics and forged her new career path, Baker had a single heart tattooed on one of her fingers. To reflect infinity Baker made a mould of the same finger and replicated it 888 times - eight being the symbol for infinity. One hundred of these moulds have been created in gold and will be showcased at the fair and available to buy.
The fair is also featuring a set of bespoke chandeliers created in conjunction with Tequila Patron, who donated the bottles for the project before giving Baker creative freedom.
'You Blow My Mind' neon print
Using a plethora of different materials, Baker has made three dramatic chandeliers (one large, two small) all about texture. The 1.5m long structure is black with a hint of colour and crafted with chains, beads, wood shards, fabrics, human hair (not Baker's) and more.
In the beginning of her art career Baker went to Venice to study mosaics from some of the world's experts. Since, she has produced a number of stunning crystal mosaic pieces including: a Goldfinch piano for a Qatar Sheik using 500,000 Swarovski crystals and a crystallised tigress head sculpture with 52,000 Swarovski crystals.
The tiger head was made for the charity Save Wild Tigers, who Baker is an ambassador for and in her time working together has raised over £50,000 for the charity.
There are many upcoming works from Baker to look forward to; although some are top secret others sound intriguing and exhilarating. One proposed project involving lit and unlit matches will be set alight and captured on camera.
Continue for more Lauren Baker artwork.
Follow Lauren Baker @laurenbakerart or visit her website for more information.
Moniker Art Fair:
Where: Old Truman Brewery, London E16QL
When: 15-18 October 2015
Thursday 15 October - Private View 5pm-10pm*
Friday 16 October 12pm-9pm
Saturday 17 October 11am-7pm
Sunday 18 October 11am-6pm
*Visit the website for more details