I love color.  I love shape.  I play with these elements and make them dance around my panels.  Color is used to surprise, to engage, to excite, and to calm.  Shapes build my compositions in unexpected ways with elements that overlap and weave in and out of view. I use opacity and transparency to obscure, hide, and contrast elements.  Where you might expect shapes to be, I cut them off or blot them out.


Though playfulness is an innate element within my work, there is more to it than fancy and flight.  Every image is taken from my life - from what I call my aesthetic history.  Not representations of familiar faces or landscapes, my work instead focuses on pieces of memories that seem to stick with me more powerfully - the silhouette of a weed picked for me by my child, the pattern on a particular summer dress, the slats of a railing on a favorite porch, the light poles on a corner that I miss.  I mine my memories to create paintings that are collections of images from my past and my present.  Placing specific images in my work is a way of cataloging my own experiences and making artwork that is deeply personal.  The formal qualities of the work - shifts in color and space - are a part of the paintings because memory is not perfect.  Elements in my paintings dance around each other in compositions that mimic the untidy and amorphous character of recollection.  Some memories sink below the surface, and some float on the top.  Some are difficult and unsettling while others are joyful expressions of a certain time or place.  The mind’s eye gets foggy and clouded with distance.  Memories twist and turn, and so do the images in my work.


I believe that though my paintings are inextricably connected to my own experience, they are universal as well.  This idea sounds like a paradox, but I believe we all have this stockpile of images from each of our lives - a collective cataloguing of the shapes, patterns, colors, and images that make up each and every one of our days.  My paintings make permanent mine, and my hope is that the work teases out memories in each viewer and invites them to take note of the world around them in a new way.

Lauren Harlowe @ 2020

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