Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Shapiro.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Lauren. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in South Florida, and in 2016 I graduated with my MFA in ceramics from the University of Miami. During my time there, I developed a slip casting process that begins with folded origami paper cast into plaster molds. I use the individual ceramic pieces to produce my modular sculptures.
I began using origami as a meditation through the repetitive actions in paper folding. This became my method of passing through difficult times by creating a sense of mindfulness: being present in the moment and with my immediate surroundings. To me, I found this offered a sense of peace in a seemingly chaotic world.
While in graduate school, I worked with plaster molds for slip casting; this is the technique of pouring liquid clay into a mold and pulling the pieces out to make multiples. I wanted to preserve ephemeral objects in porcelain, and began this exploration by casting the origami “fortune tellers”. I am fascinated by organized and repeating geometric formations, inspired by the hidden geometries naturally occurring in landscapes and nature.
In 2015 I earned a fellowship opportunity to study the art of porcelain in Jingdezhen, China at the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute. During my stay, I visited industrial mold making factories and observed post-production processes performed by various artisans in the village. After my return, I wanted to focus on preserving the fragility of the paper by balancing stacked porcelain shapes, creating a pleasing organization of the forms.
In my most recent project, I am working with something more temporal: unfired clay installations that interact with Miami Architecture. The resulting work is site-specific raw clay forms of tropical foliage and geometry emerging directly from the floor and interacting with a structural element, cracking and drying over time. Subsequent to its creation, these works are then broken down into dry dust, recycled with water and reclaimed in order to build the next installation.
My project was recently accepted for a research-based artist residency in the Amazon Rainforest: Labverde. During my stay I will collect and cast silicone molds from plant life affected by climate change and human presence in the environment. These will serve as the prototypes and foundation molds for my work back in the studio, grouped in with interconnecting geometric shapes. It is through these compositions that I reference issues of forest fragmentation, erosion and the fragility of our relationship to the ecosystem; that much like the unfired clay, are eventually destined to deconstruct.
I currently have a studio at Bakehouse Art Complex where I serve as head of the Ceramics Practice, helping artists and the community to learn about the medium while expanding a clay presence in Miami. I teach college level fine arts courses at various institutions in South Florida. I have exhibited my work during Art Basel Miami at Scope Art fair, the New Art Dealer’s Alliance (NADA), and internationally during Art Basel Switzerland at Projektraum M54.
Learn more about my upcoming project here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/artist-in-the-amazon-water-design/x/18382355#/
- Support my upcoming residency project in the Amazon Rainforest! Collect limited edition artworks (for a limited time only): https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/artist-in-the-amazon-water-design/x/18382355#/
- Address: Bakehouse Art Complex
561 NW 32nd Street
Miami, FL 33133
- Website: www.laurenshapiroart.com
- Phone: 954-249-6540
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @loshap
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoShap
- Other: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/artist-in-the-amazon-water-design/x/18382355#/
Pedro Wazzan, Michael Zimmerer