Lauren Frances Evans

Title

Lauren Frances Evans

Location

Birmingham
Alabama
USA

Artist Statement

As an artist, I am intrigued by the materiality of the flesh and believe it to function as a microcosm that points to various aspects of the immaterial human experience. Years before ever becoming a parent, I was already fascinated by the spiritual and cosmic significance of the human belly button and its relationship to the creative act. As a child I pulled at mine, trying to flip it inside out. Years later, as a graduate student, I poured plaster into it regularly, making castings of its negative space. The belly button is the first mark that life leaves on the body; it is a scar that points to our origins.

Many creation myths describe our world as originating from a central point. The Greek term omphalos (navel) can refer to various symbolic centers that are believed to connect the earthly and divine. Just as the human belly button marks our connection to (and inevitable separation from) our mothers, these so-called navels of the world are often associated with myths of cosmic origin, functioning as physical markers of the very sites at which our earth was supposedly born into existence. This symbolism can be found across cultures and religions: ziggurats, temples, holy mountains, the tree of life, and more.

I’m excited and inspired by the navel, umbilical cord, and placenta as both site and symbol of the simultaneity that is embedded in the human experience. Questions of origin and existence are constantly shaping how I think about my creative work, and my belief is that the work of the artist, and perhaps especially the mother artist, is primarily ontological. Just as the human belly button marks both a connection to and a separation from our physical origins, the work that I make points to a similar simultaneity of opposites, referencing the body’s attraction and repulsion but also the immaterial void of human longing in us all.

Before becoming a mother, I thought of attachment and separation as psychologies experienced by the child. I didn’t realize until experiencing it firsthand that, not unlike the blood circulating through the placenta, these psychologies very much go both ways. I’ve been thinking a lot about this entanglement and have been working it out in a recent body of work. At times I imagine vividly that my daughter and I are still connected by this cord. It’s a tug of war. Often, I tug at the cord, longing for my independence from her, and more often than not, she tugs to bring me closer, unwilling to let me exist apart from her.

Exhibitions

Wrapped Up, Tied Up, Tangled Up – solo – 2019 – Samford Art Gallery – Samford University – Birmingham, AL

ArtFields – 2019 - The ROB – Lake City, SC

Art|Mother – Unfinished Business Art Show – 2019 – Los Angeles, CA

Are We There Yet? – CIVA Juried Exhibition (forthcoming - June) – 2019 – Johnson Gallery– Bethel University – St. Paul, MN

Simultaneous Letdown – solo – 2019 (forthcoming - October) – Gatewood Gallery – University of North Carolina, at Greensboro – Greensboro, NC

Collection

Citation

“Lauren Frances Evans,” Artist Parent Index , accessed October 22, 2019, http://artistparentindex.com/items/show/387.

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