ARTIST AT A GLANCE
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Lauren Pirie is a multidisciplinary artist, art director, and curator with an interest in the environment, immersive experience, and socially-engaged art. She’s curated collaborative art experiences, intimate gallery shows, and large community events, including recent exhibits at Pride and MOCA Toronto. She was a co-founder of grassroots art and environmental organization The About Face Collective and has worked with organizations like Sketch, Centre for Social Innovation, Skate4Cancer, and DDBX Community Projects. Lauren recently spoke at TEDxYouth on the subject of art and its power as a tool for inward reflection and outward connection, subjects that often show up in her personal practice. Her work includes a range of media and scale, from delicate, intricate ink drawings to large scale installations and murals—she’s been commissioned to paint walls in Mexico, Colombia, and the Facebook Toronto headquarters. Her practice explores the environment in relation to connection, desire and healing, both as themes in her own artwork and while collaborating with and supporting other artists.
Lauren Pirie’s paintings and sculptures illuminate inherent interconnectedness—between human and human and to our shared environment—and at the same time, a yearning for connection. Her work is interested in how our willingness to confront our shadows, individually and collectively, can lead to growth and healing. Woven through biomorphic shapes is a desire for both control and release, in theme as well as in process; meticulous pointillism and line work interact with free-flowing ink or blended paint. Bodies assume and reflect the visual language of the plants, or vice versa, and water acts as an escape in itself; a healing liquid to submerse ourselves in. Loyal to the natural and the supernatural, with human nature at the centre, everything here is connected and intertwined. Coiling shapes softly reference serpents, which are often perceived as evil, but hold ties to the Earth Mother, creative energy, water, and the underworld, and meld fully here with fantastical anatomies.