A contemporary artist who investigates the ephemeral nature of life through nature-based metaphors and considers humanity’s relationship with the natural world, and notions of the ‘ruin’.
Lauren Downton is a contemporary emerging artist living and working on Kaurna land, South Australia. Her practice investigates the ephemeral nature of life, exploring themes of death, decay and regeneration through nature-based metaphors. She draws on environmental sociology to consider humanity’s relationship with the natural world, and how these ideas relate to notions of the ‘ruin’.
Lauren works primarily in clay. She uses slip casting methods to create hybrid porcelain assemblages. Her ceramic sculptures take the form of branches and antlers displayed in sculptural accumulations. Her hybrid forms are an entry point to engage audiences in considering alternate future worlds and possibilities.
Lauren investigates notions of the ruin, as deteriorating relics of the past that symbolise ephemerality. Human-made, yet enveloped by overgrown vegetation and nature, ruins continuously deteriorate whilst regenerating new life. They exist in liminal states of 'in-between', relating to Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection through these ambiguous states. In this sense, ruins can be seen as hybrids, representing a fusion of dualities such as decay and regeneration, society and nature, permanence and ephemerality. Lauren explores these concepts through sculptural forms, blending organic objects with human interventions.
Ruins, historically, corresponded to a consciousness of past and future times; relics that brought about an awareness of temporality, and symbols of modernity’s uncertainty. Lauren’s work points to an awareness of current times of immense global change, where reevaluating our relationship with nature becomes critical in achieving sustainability for future generations.