Lauren Baker | Artist Interview | Hang-Ten
Editorial / Artists

Lauren Baker | Artist Interview | Hang-Ten

15 May 2018

We are excited to present you with our third artist interview with the multi-sensory artist, Lauren Baker. Ahead of our Hang-Ten celebrations - get ready to be elevated!

Hang-Up Gallery Our first memory of you was when you first came to the old space to pitch your artwork and 10 minutes later we had planned a solo show! What's your first memory of Hang-Up?

Lauren Baker I remember seeing one of my favourite artists work in the window – Nancy Fouts -and thinking this place looks COOL & wanting to show with you. I got a great energy from the team straight away. This was my first solo show and im grateful to be working with you for 5 years now.

Lauren Baker with Director Ben Cotton at You Blow My Mind | 2013

HU Can you remember the first piece of artwork you made that solidified your path as an artist? What was it?
LB My first works were a collection of human and animal skulls… I was embellishing with thousands of crystals and jewels or painting psychadellic colourful patterns. Vogue quickly named me ‘The Queen of Skulls’. Since then I’ve explored many different materials working on abstract paintings, contemporary mosaics, crystal animal sculptures, neons and large installations.

A century ago, there were over 100,000 wild tigers roaming the planet. Now, there are under 4,000 tigers left in the wild, due to human greed and carelessness. I created this work in 2015 to raise awareness and funds for the Save Wild Tigers Charity. Tigers are still highly vulnerable to extinction! SAVE WILD TIGERS NOW ……………………………….....................................………….. 'Phantom Panthera' – Resin, acrylic, 50 x 50 x 40cm, 2015. Sold and created for Save Wild Tigers charity initiative ……………………….....…………..….... #savewildtigers #charity #tigers #skull #laurenbaker #laurenbakerart #philanthropy #artforcharity #bethechangeyouwanttosee #takeaction

A post shared by LAUREN BAKER • ARTIST ✌🏽 (@laurenbakerart) on Apr 27, 2018 at 4:26am PDT

HU You'll be creating some new and unseen works for Hang-Ten to which we're very excited about. Can you give us a sneaky insight into what you're working on for the show?

LB My prints tend to sell out and I’m low on stock so the new limited edition print I'm releasing for Hang-Ten will be my first print release this year and is much anticipated! I’m excited to be producing a special original piece too.

You Blow My Mind | Limtied Edition of 50

HU You're a force to be reckoned with – super vivacious and eternally optimistic which are some of the best things about working with you. What’s the best thing about working with Hang-Up?
LB Thank you!!! I’m really grateful to be represented by such a cool gallery who continue to expand and do interesting exhibitions. The whole team are friendly and they know their stuff! I appreciate the support over the last 5 years of working together.

Lauren with a friend at LIGHTVISIONS at Hang-Up Gallery in 2016

HU There are ten artists displaying in Hang-Ten - all very different in techniques and concepts. If you could collaborate with one artist in the show, who would it be and why?
LB OOOOOhhh that’s a hard question… I really love the work by all the ten. I think a neon explosion would look cool with Joe Webb's end of the world theme works, and I’d love to do a neon profile outline of one Mark Powell’s head drawings, and I can imagine neon doodling or embellishing over Jonathan Reiner’s pieces wild pop art works. Sorry hard to choose!

320Hz (Solar Plexus) | Limited Edition of 7 | From Baker's Frequency Edition

HU The last ten years of Hang-Up have been filled with plenty of peaks (and a few troughs that we can now laugh at...!) What's the last ten years been like for Lauren Baker? Can you name a few key moments?
LB I became an artist 7 years ago…. Before that I was in the corporate world and had a pretty hedonistic lifestyle. Since taking part in ceremonies in the Peruvian amazon I had an epiphany that I was an artist and I've been engulfed in creation ever since!
Some low points…. in the early years I had a freezing cold warehouse studio and I had spent all my money travelling and I struggled to buy materials & eat well… wow I guess I’ve come along way thinking about those early years! Sometimes I did no sleeping for days to finish works on time yet I always managed to take a lot of inspiration from the adventures which compensated for the full on work periods and kept me eternally enthused. I’m so grateful for this art journey and all the wonderful people that I meet because of a shared love of art.
Some highlights I'm most proud of are raising £55k for Save Wild Tigers charity from the sale of my artworks and curating an exhubiiton of 20 artists for the charity. It was mind blowing to create installations at Tate Britain, Tate Modern & The V&A, making a crystal grand piano for a sheikh in Qatar, which sold for £420k. Exhibiting across the world at art fairs such as Art Basel in Miami and next up in Switzerland, having a great studio and viewing space in the heart of Covent Garden and continuing to grow and develop my artworks.

It's estimated there are just 3890 wild tigers left in the world, and to put this in context, there was over 100k tigers in the wild 100 years ago! Even though the numbers have risen very slightly in the past few years (which might be down to improved CCTV analysis and recording), they remain in great threat. As a Save Wild Tigers ambassador, I created ‘The Tiger’ back in 2013 to raise funds to support @savewildtigers . Big thanks to @jaimewinstone for supporting the cause too, she's looking super fabulous with ‘The Tiger’ here. Image @louiebanksshoots styling @lmvlondon makeup @hollysilius dress @hermionedepaula ✊🏾 . . . #savewildtigers #SWT #crystallizedsculpture #swarovski #crystals #tiger #laurenbaker #laurenbakerart #art #artcollector #sold #contemporaryart #sculpture #artistsoninstagram

A post shared by LAUREN BAKER • ARTIST ✌🏽 (@laurenbakerart) on Aug 18, 2017 at 9:21am PDT

HU Can you describe a specific work, series, exhibition and/or collaboration you have been most proud of?

LB Last year I did a collection called ‘The Colour Of Energy’… I was interpreting unseen energy, listening to the sound frequency of the energy chakras, e.g. the heart chakra frequency is 431.1Hz, and I meditated to realize a visual interpretation of these energies. My favourite work is ‘Universal Frequency’ with neon, diamond dust and digital ink painting of an ‘aura’ – along with a multi-sensory sound and vibration piece – after releasing this piece, I received the Rise Art Prize 2018 – Artist to Watch.

HU We'd have to say a favourite time with Lauren Baker was your inaugural solo show 'You Blow My Mind' in 2013 – The show included a pumping heart and a storm installation with neon lightening so we knew there were great things to come. (Not to mention having to get the whole front window of the gallery replaced hours before the private view). Can you name your favourite Hang-Up moment?
LB I think the craziest most memorable time was hanging that first solo show till 4am in the morning the day of the private view. Back then I favoured creating over sleeping so I was getting about 6 hours sleep a night so I could spend more time on art. Now I’m a bit more chilled and have a more balanced approach. My favourite work was ‘The Storm’ installation… taking over the basement with an immersive interpretation of an Amazonian thunder storm – having painted a stormy starry night scene on the walls, floor & ceiling, I installed flashing neon lightning bolts, surround sound thunder & animal noises and a motion sensor smoke machine… people either loved it or hated it (it as pretty intense!)… and I liked that because it was definitely not boring – it caused a reaction!
Lauren Baker | You Blow My Mind solo exhibition in 2013

HU We know this question can sometimes be a cringe for artists, but we're putting together a Hang-Ten playlist and would like your input. What three songs would you like to add?
LB I love Kate Simko and the London Electronic Orchestra – I recently collaborated with her at The Royal Albert Hall for HeForShe Arts Week and it was amazing! My favourite track is the ‘XX INTRO’, I listen to Nick Mulvey ‘Infinite Trees’ a lot. Right now, I'm on a road trip staying in a ranch with a hot tub in the desert in Joshua Tree and I’ve been blasting Jefferson Airplane ‘White Rabbit’.

HU We certainly have a few goals for the next few years - one includes world domination. What's the goal for the next 10 years?
LB I’d like to make more large-scale public installations. My biggest neon to date is 7.5metres and I love working at this scale! I love change and adventure so traveling with work is fun. This year I’ve already had shows in Miami, NYC and next up is London plus Switzerland for Art Basel. In the future I’d like to exhibit at Frieze. I plan to keep experimenting with new materials. I’m forever exploring and evolving in art and in life.

Don't forget to check out Lauren's full catalogue. Watch this space for Baker's Instagram Take Over this Thurs 17 May @Hangupgallery.
Ever wanted to ask Lauren Baker a question? We are opening up the floor to a Q + A, so email us and your query and it might make it to the next interview.

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