As an emerging artist in London to take significant note of, Art World Forum catches up with Lauren Baker. Recommending her as a “must-show” artist at last year’s 5th annual edition of START Art Fair, Lauren has been exhibiting around the world and always working on new series.
“For me, being an artist, I see this as me, giving myself permission to play in the world.”
1. You have been a full-time artist for the last 7.5 years, following an epiphany during your travels in South America. You have since produced numerous series of work, created commissioned pieces for Tate Modern, Tate Britain and The V&A, as well as raised money for various charities.
Where do you get your inspiration from to create new work and develop new series? Is the motivation to continue being an artist as strong as when you started? Who/what inspires you?
I get inspired when I travel, that’s when I have space to breathe deeply, day dream and think big. My passion to create is indeed still strong. I usually have a few months off a year to explore the world and I think this is the key to keeping the fire burning in my heart. Though in my early artistic stages, I was so obsessed that I would choose work over sleep; I was getting 6 hours a night so I could experiment more. These days, I look after myself better! With good sleep, yoga, reading and lots of travel adventures to satisfy my mind, body and soul and feel super alive.
As well as my love for travel, I’m inspired by science, the infinite potential of the universe and the human mind. Obsessed with the metaphysical and the unknown. I’m inspired by love and lust and connection. Above all, nature is profoundly inspiring.
In terms of people, I love people who illuminate others – Ekarte Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Jody Shield and Tony Robbins. In the artworld, I am inspired by powerful women making waves – Marine Tanguy and Kate Bryan.
2.Commercially operating as an artist with gallery representation and exhibiting at reputable fairs like Art Basel, Scope, Art Miami and more, you are also deep-rooted in sustainability and caring for the environment. In a competitive market for originality and creative breakthroughs, what is an artist? What are his/ her responsibilities as a creator?
I may work for 6-12 months on a new solo show releasing all new work, and what’s the first question 9/10 people at the launch will ask…. ‘So, what’s next?’ My cheeky side wants to say “what’s next is that we pause and appreciate and celebrate this very moment! Ha!” 😉
Art life is exciting, my schedule is hectic and I’m exhibiting in multiple countries so there’s always projects and commissions running simultaneously. I squeeze the travel in between to make sure I don’t get swamped and make sure I get out and play in the world.
There is certainly a pressure to bring out regular new works. I like keeping edition numbers low and selling out which creates a buzz.
For me, being an artist, I see this as me, giving myself permission to play in the world. It’s rather self-indulgent and I love it! I follow seeds of ideas and turn them into art creations, expressing whatever is on my mind. I visualise thoughts, emotions and energies. A lot of my work has focused on my obsession with the afterlife and portals to other dimensions. Other works ignite and remind me to be positive, connect with a higher frequency and spread love.
Artists often comment on the world around them, and I have a lot of respect for artists who explore the darker truths about the chaos and wrong doings in society. I naturally focus on expressing high frequency energy. I am always seeking the light, rather than delving too deep into darkness. That’s how I choose to play this game of life, and it’s reflected in my work.
You have noticed my desire to care for the environment and sustainability. I share my environmental concerns via my network. I think we should all choose a cause we feel passionate about and take some action, no matter how small. It’s important to be involved in our community. When I walk into a room, I hope to elevate the atmosphere, and charge people up, and I feel the same about my life, when I leave earth, I hope to have left it a better place. I encourage others to have an attitude of positivity, possibility and action.
I’ve raised more than £60k for charity to date (mostly for Save Wild Tigers, though my last project was for Help Refugees) yet my goal is £100k so I have much work to do! (Once I’ve achieved this I’ll set a new goal).
3. Your quest in the arts to date has focused on energy, the fragility of life, and greater meaning. Have you noticed any change or difference in the way your collectors and followers overall interact with your art?
I am constantly evolving. Though my materials change, I am still exploring my key themes of interest. It’s lovely to have some collectors who bought my skull art and my abstract paintings in the early days who have more recently invested in my light art and most recent exploded book series. Some of my collectors buy because they connect with the pieces, others have told me their main goal is investment art. I get a warm glowing feeling when I receive an email from a client saying that my art brings them joy and positivity at home.
As I’ve progressed, I’m now working at a bigger scale… as soon as I had a studio big enough, I created a 2x2metre piece, only to find that this size doesn’t fit through a standard London door!! It was a challenge to take it apart and rebuild it. Now I work at 1.8×1.8m… as big as London will allow me (haha).
Clients investing in these larger works, such as Universal Frequency and Dark Matter, tend to have multiple homes around the world and my team and I have had to learn a lot about professional international art shipping. I have a fair few collectors in Singapore and the Middle East. In Miami and LA doors are much bigger and I’ve got my sights on making really huge works in the future.
4. Drawing on your former experience as a gallerist, with a space in Covent Garden, you have undoubtedly achieved a lot. How would you define success? And what do you aim to achieve or share with your art?
It was an usual and accidental chapter having my own art gallery on Floral St, in the centre of Covent Garden for a year. I got an offer that was too good to refuse so I jumped in. It took a LOT of energy to run a public art space, create art and exhibit internationally… that year I did 22 shows around the world. I plan to do a lot less this year and I’m enjoying that idea. Although I say that, in January alone I exhibited in London, Miami and Milan and Im still jet-lagged from Frieze in LA. I have the wildest art ideas on the plane; it’s where I get my best ideas. When I’m up in earth’s atmosphere, undistracted, admiring the spherical glow of the sun setting, on a high frequency, in timeless space, among the fluffy clouds….. what bliss!