Burg Arts Featurette by Lauren Curl

Lauren is a Bristol based artist and printmaker whose creation “Story” has been installed on the Burg Arts community billboard in June and July. Here she explains the background to her creation, the techniques that provide opportunity to reinvent advertising space, and the ideas she hopes to inspire…

“For the last few years I have been photographing torn billboard posters as inspiration for my work which often finds its beginnings in the scraps and corners of our city. I love the combination of fragments of typographic marks or random words, floating in a chaotic ripped surface of these billboards and find it refreshing and cathartic to come across a totally ripped up billboard hoarding, rebellion against all the fast food and shiny cars that no one needs. The random words from these are dislocated from the corporate message and could almost be bits of Dada poetry that people can bring their own interpretations and narrative to, a bit like cloud watching.

“I’ve been using screen printing to translate these bits of urban surface, balancing the busy textures with planes of screen-printed colour. I’m also intrigued by how a three-dimensional surface is translated into a two-dimensional print and how we interpret this visually as a haptic experience. More recently I have been playing with putting the literal surface texture back in to the surface of my prints by laser engraving my screen prints on plywood, and use handmade collagraph plates to blind embossed similar textures into paper prints.

“By printing on wood I have also started making pieces into solid sculptural shapes with the protruding corner that invites people to get up close and investigate the surface of the prints. It’s when I hear “can I touch it?” that I feel a print has been successful. As an artist driven by my love of process and materials, I’m inviting people to share that same curiosity of the physical nature of things.

“As part of this body of work I have also had the opportunity to return my printed interpretation back to the billboard opposite where I took the original photos for the print. I chose ‘Story’ raises themes about the dominant story-tellers in today’s society, layers of consumerism reveal a new story here, offering a reminder to stay curious about the world around us and listen to each other’s stories.” 

View more of her work at www.laurencurl.co.uk and Instagram.com/lauren.curl

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