Previous AA2A Artist

Lauren Healey

Project summary:

My work explores human interaction and emotions, and the traces and remnants we leave behind. I am drawn to human environments and how intervention in these locations creates a sense of place and history. I am interested in the fragmented layers of meaning that arise from my investigations - I combine these disparate elements together by building layers of the seen and the hidden through a range of techniques including drawing, print-making and collage. 

The techniques I use allow me to illustrate the layers of history, fragmented memories, and feelings of desolation, dislocation and abandonment, which can be attributed to the objects and locations I work from. My current work is primarily paper-based - however I intend to use the AA2A scheme to continue the expansion of my practice to encompass three-dimensional and installation elements, using the range of facilities available. 

I have been collecting a range of photographs, photographic negatives, letters, postcards and other items from flea markets ranging from the 1930s until the 1960s. The people who previously owned these objects have presumably died, leaving nothing but a trigger to a memory which no longer exists. There is something disquieting and unnerving about being able to purchase these items – you can be holding not just a box of objects, but the physical remains of a person’s life. I intend to use these items to further my investigations of human emotions, whilst also developing new approaches to my work. I am interested in combining different media and exploring how this will visually affirm meaning to my work. I intend to use the University’s black and white dark room to make photographic prints from the 1930s’ negatives. I want to explore possible presentations of these newly processed photographs, experimenting with showing these alongside the original negatives. I am interested in creating mounts and frames for the photographs, postcards and letters which become part of the work – I want to print drawings which respond to the abandoned item, incorporating the casing as part of the artwork. I also want to explore wrapping and boxing the letters, newspaper articles and postcards. These acts will return to the items some of the importance they lost when they were sold; this will help 'protect’ what remains of the memory. 

I am particularly interested in the feelings of fragility and loneliness that these abandoned or discarded memory triggers provoke in the viewer. In my recent work I have used images of landscapes depicting abandoned buildings or functionless utilities to express these feelings. By using actual objects as opposed to images of locations, my intention is to heighten the effect on the viewer. 

series 1