This autumn, we caught up with Lauren Pitson, a visual artist based in South Wales to learn more about her practice and her current ongoing body of work Loose Caps. Lauren's practice focuses predominantly on memory, form and existence by using mixed media, moving image and sculptural pieces to fabricate abstractions or foreign bodies relating to the self. Experimenting with alternative processes and reproduction of images in order to displace the work within itself.
Loose Caps is an ongoing body of work which focuses on the unavoidable reality of our own mortality. Examining the boundaries of photography whilst challenging ideas surrounding our genetic make-up, the human condition, and decomposition. The transcending life cycle of being (existence) even after death.
Could you tell us more about Loose Caps?
Loose caps explores the internal and external value of organisms and structures of the form. How this relates to the world around us and our internal development as a being. The work is replicated, displaced, reprocessed, copied and developed in ways to leave potential for a continuation of one thing to another. Body memory is something I am fascinated by, how we leave traces of ourselves everywhere without realising and how we will continue to do so after death.
Photography seems an integral part of your visual practice, what drew you to using it as a medium of making work?
I find that it is really versatile - you aren’t stuck to just making images through a lens as much as people may believe. I feel it allows you to branch out into other mediums if necessary. A lot of my work starts as a sculptural piece or video which I later photograph and then repurpose in another way. I find that having that photographic base allows you to be as fluid as you want to be. I think it’s quite interesting to reconsider photography for what many people believe it is. It’s as open and versatile as you allow it to be.
Could you talk us through your photographic process in relation to the themes of your subject?
My current body of work focuses on acknowledging the reality of death. Over the last year I’ve been gathering and collecting pieces to work with and examine. I’m interested in the physicality of the work and also how it can be repurposed and reproduced. I find it fascinating that even after death, our bodies are constantly being reconstructed to aid other matter even down to the smallest molecule. We have a continuous life cycle, so I wanted to try and develop this idea through the process of creating the work by recycling the images in some way. I find that reducing something to the smallest version of itself often interests me more than the original image.
In 2019, you held your first solo show titled Mitosis at College Street Gallery, Swansea. How do you feel that your work has evolved since the exhibition?
I feel that I’ve developed an entirely new body of work. It is definitely work that I feel more involved in, although I used Mitosis as an introductory body. I’ve definitely taken aspects from previous work such as developing processes, but I feel this is a recurring element in my work. Each body of work is integral to the other in some way.
Do you wish to publish Loose Caps soon?
Hopefully in another year or so. I’m quite enjoying taking the time to create, research and reflect with this project. I feel it’s going to take me a while to combine all of my research but I’m in no rush to publish or exhibit just yet.
And lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
I think just experiment with all avenues as much as possible. Don’t be scared to try new processes and trust your intuition rather than thinking too much about what you’re trying to make.
To see more of Lauren's practice you can visit her instagram - @laurenpitson