Entwined by Lauren Baker + Interview

Fated & Fabled were so excited to attend the opening of Lauren Baker’s Entwined exhibition at Box Galleries in Chelsea. Billed as a solo show featuring a new collection of artworks exploring the tantric energy of entwined souls and love, you can imagine how this was right up our street, particularly considering our current Alchemy issue.

Lauren’s work is inspired by her time spent in the Peruvian Amazon; in 2012 her art career started with a life-changing trip to South America. Lauren joined a mosaic street-art project in Brazil and spent time in the Peruvian Amazon jungle surrounded by dense vegetation and wildlife. She then researched the best place to study mosaic in the world and developed her skills in Venice (Orsoni, 2012).

Lauren is a multi-disciplinary artist and this greatly appealed to me, especially considering the subject matter of energy fields, which can be perceived in so many differeny ways, through different senses and in fluctuating states. I personally have never come across an artist who has taken on this theme and having my own experiences in perception of auric fields and ‘other’ dimesions, I was deeply fascinated to see how an artist would present this visually.

Below is one of my favourite pieces from Entwined:

Now, this piece was particularly crazy for me to see, also acting as a kind of validation for what I myself have experienced and although not in precisely the same way, the energetic make up of this piece was greatly similar to previous perceptions that I have had. This to me is a deeply sexual and creative piece and what I mean by creative is the energy of creation. These are the energetic pulses that I have both seen and felt during both sex when deeply connected and also during the act of song writing. The harsher broken shard like lines represent to me everything that has to be transcended, everything that serves as a distraction, every kind of insecurity and the fragility of the rabbit hole you enter when connecting to a creative energy source. The middle, to me at least, is clearly a representation of the yoni, with the flowing, almost cyclical patterns showing the inherent creative potential, both in lovemaking and the act of artistic expression.

This piece however also represents a connecton that is imperfect and a little tortured; it’s almost as if this is a connection that has acknowledged pain and suffering and is inviting you to transcend this, even if only for a blissful pause in time.

What I consider to be a perfectly harmonious connection is presented below and this is something that I relate to only when in the deepest levels of meditation since to me, it is a representation of the source, away from the imperfect entwined energy of two bodies and souls and ultimately our highest potential when everything is perfectly aligned:

Now, I am fully aware that not everyone perceives energy in this way, although I do believe that it is there to be seen/heard/felt/smelled/tasted if we choose to be open to it. What I have found to be amazing about a daily spiritual practice, which for me revolves around variations on meditation, yoga and lucid dreamwork, is how much it can connect you to your intuition, which in my case, is a blunt little voice that kicks in at very specific times, telling me to cut through the bullshit and to act. It’s hard to explain, but you do begin to differentiate between your own flawed inner narrative and your true voice of intuition and inner guidance; I’m still learning, but what I do know is that sometimes lessons are portrayed in symbols and sometimes it is just a straight talking voice. Lauren for me showcased this perfectly with some of her neon worded messages:

These neon phrases are the perfect reminder that sometimes, things really can be simple if we connect to our truth. Sometimes these realisations literally light up in our mind and there is no need to express things in ambigious, conceptual terms. Sometimes, it just is what it is!

One of my other favourites is the below, showing to me a kind of eclipse, beautifully highlighting what is on the other side of our struggles in the darkness:

 

We were also lucky enough to have Lauren answer a few of our questions, which you can find below:

 

We know you had the realisation in Peru that you wanted to pursue art but was this something that you had any conscious knowing of before or did your experiences in Peru literally bring to light a talent that had been completely hidden?

I sat meditating in the jungle in Peru, surrounded by dense vegetation, amongst the tallest wisest old trees with their branches whooshing in the wind, and crazy strange sounds of the wildlife within the jungle… I meditated, the midst of confusion cleared and I had complete clarity and understanding of my life and that I was an artist. The fact I had not made art since I was a child was inconsequential. I’ve been making up for lost creative time during the last six years of being a full time artist.

Obviously your work touches on very spiritual and energetic themes; was this something that you were tuned into before or was your experience in Peru a completely new awakening to you?

The book that empowered me to jack in my job and go travelling to South America, was The Power Of Now, Ekolte Tolle. That was the first spiritual book I read. This book roused me and I become fully awake in the Peruvian jungle!

Do you see these energetic connections between people as works of art in itself or is it something that you consciously turn into a work of art?

People have a certain vibe or aura, and I imagine this as ripples of energy, with varying intensity and colours, just like a neon glow. In my art I wish to capture, deconstruct and interpret the energetic connection of entwined souls.

Obviously to perceive these connections with such clarity, the conscious mind has to be transcended in some way; do you utilise any spiritual practice to help you get into the zone before creating these works?

Yes I’m into meditation, yoga, lucid dreaming.

We know that you are passionate about animals and conservation. With your time in Peru, did you have any experience with the shamanic connections to animals? Do you perceive any clear differences between the human and animal energy? What do you think we can learn from wildlife?

After my time in the Amazon, I have a strong connection with wildlife and plants. I understand that animals, like humans, have a soul and I so don’t eat anything with a face! Trees have been in existence on the Earth for 370 million years and they live for thousands of years. Imagine the knowledge of living for thousands of years? In our short lives we cause so much destruction! Trees give us so much – reducing erosion and moderating the climate and they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Yet we cut rain forests down – valuing money over nature – what insanity!

What has been your most challenging work of art to create and why?

I created a crystal grand piano with half a million crystals for a sheikh in Qatar. Working out how many crystals and how long it would take on an oddly shaped grand piano was a mathematical nightmare! It had to be ‘museum grade’ perfect and each crystal was individually applied by hand. I hardly slept for months.

Is there a particular message that you want people to get from your Entwined exhibition?

The show is about the tantric energy of entwined souls. It’s a deeply personal exploration of love and connection. I hope people feel connected to the energy within the artworks. I dreamed up the concepts a year ago after I studied the theory of Tantra in Guatemala whilst living there for a few months.

What is your favourite piece in the ‘Entwined’ exhibition?

My favourite artwork in Entwined is ‘Astral Entanglement’. It’s about the passionate energetic dance of two entwined souls. For months I weaved, sewed, platted and stiched to interpret this feeling visually, creating this ethereal textile diptych.

Any up-coming work that you can speak about? Anything that you are specifically working on now? If we are allowed to know!

I’m super excited for 2017, it’s got off to an incredible start with the amazing response to Entwined and next up I have some interesting projects happening around the world and I love travelling nearly as much as I love creating.

 

So in conclusion, Lauren Baker is pretty fucking amazing! Take the time to check out more of her work here, it is so so worth it 🙂 Thank you to Emma and the team at Box Galleries for hosting such a mangificent exhibition and thank you to Lauren for sharing her beautiful talents with the world!

Words // Gesu Ace
Editor & Creative Director

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