Talk Talk is a regular feature where our artists introduce themselves and share some of the experiences that have shaped their work. This edition features Lauren Guymer, an emerging Australian artist, whose hand-made Space and Forest zines, and limited edition Daydream print are available now.
Lauren Guymer’s intricate black and white artworks are inspired by the natural world, and often feature the native flora and fauna surrounding her home studio on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Lauren explores the beauty and mystery of nature, combining the real with the imagined to create dream-like places, atmospheric landscapes, and uninhabited sanctuaries.
Where did you grow up and what about that place has stayed with you?
I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, which is where I still live. As a child I spent my weekends horse riding, playing freely outside, or at beach with my family. Being outside in nature was just a really normal thing and has continued to be an important part of my life today.
Tell us about a person or event that transformed your understanding of art.
I’m sure there have been several occasions, and it has also evolved over time with many artworks and conversations contributing to it. But I do remember one significant moment during my first artist residency at Arteles Creative Center in Finland in 2016. I had a conversation with the co-director, Teemu, about my work. He suggested that the scale of things don’t have to appear the way that we think they are, and encouraged me to play around with my horizon lines and perspective. This has been something that has stuck with me since (thanks Teemu!), and when I returned home after the residency I really began to push the boundaries of my ideas and dug deep into my imagination. So in a visual sense, this feedback really changed how I perceived my work and the power of my imagination. But more importantly, it made me realise that I can make art appear however I want it to.
What are the essential tools and conditions for your workspace?
My studio has become an essential part of my practice, it’s the only place I can fully focus and absorb myself in my work. Keeping it clean and organised is pretty important and I always pack it up each night so I can walk in the next day and feel fresh. Good music and podcasts are a must, plus filling it with plants, art books, and prints makes it an inspiring place. I also make sure to have all my drawing and painting materials available so whenever I get an idea I can make it happen.
What’s the key to understanding your work?
I have never thought about this! I’m still figuring out my own understanding. The best way to know is that everything I make is a response to somewhere special that I have visited, my memories, or somewhere special in my mind that I have imagined. It is heavily influenced by my experiences, and also the composition and techniques I use.
What do you enjoy doing most in life that has nothing to do with your work?
I love anything that connects me to nature. Including camping, travelling, bushwalking, gardening, being with my pets, and visiting local places. Although these things are all very relevant to my work and what inspires me. Art has taken a huge place in my life and it’s hard to think of something that is completely seperate from it.
Tell us an interesting story from your life.
Sometimes during the day or night, in the right conditions, I am taken back to a memory, experience, or vision of a place. It’s usually when the same elements such as light and colour appear and form together, re-creating the same feelings and responses I had to a place. A bit like Déjà vu but it isn’t confusing and is very real. Most recently it was the exact same time of day, rain, light, smell, and colours in my garden that took me back to a very particular memory of the forest in Finland. Maybe it’s just me wanting to be there, but it feels pretty special to live it again.