Lauren Browning

My artwork communicates my capacity to observe, think and feel through my personal perception of beauty. The shapes, materials and textures used in my work should be familiar to the viewer, yet I have arranged them in ways that are uniquely my own. My sculptures may be judged to be beautiful or not beautiful. In order to make this judgement, however, the thoughtful viewer will first evoke deeply personal memories of these familiar aesthetic forms and then consider the new relationships between them that I have presented. This is the essence of the communication that I seek with others as an artist.

The sculptural forms that I create focus on the relationships between lines and surfaces, the intersections of seemingly disparate forms, and the way light transforms them all. I study the connections that bring contrasting design elements together, and strive to identify the most compelling connections between the various design elements of my sculptures. A common theme in my work is the dueling effects of fluidity and points of tension -- a combination that I believe produces the greatest interest and strongest overall sense of movement in abstract forms.

I consider each rock that I carve to be a different artistic medium that requires not only different tools, but different design strategies. Different rocks have different hardnesses, sometimes even within the same stone. They fracture in a variety of different ways, and have diverse distributions of minerals, veins, fractures, pore spaces, inclusions or bands, as well as color. These properties affect the way that each stone can be carved, and contribute significantly to the appearance of the completed sculpture. My background as a geologist gives me a rich appreciation of the properties and physical histories of the stones that I carve, and my choice to work as a direct stone carver allows me to create sculptural forms that respond to the natural variations that inevitably present themselves in the rock. I engage in an iterative process of looking at the form of the stone, identifying a specific area that I would like to carve, carving it, and then beginning that process of examination and refinement again.

Due to my fascination with intersecting forms, I do not consider my creative work to be complete until I have developed a fully three-dimensional design. There is no distinct “front” or “back” to any of my sculptures. To accomplish this, I scrutinize my design decisions from every angle throughout the carving process -- sometimes from the top step of a ladder, other times lying atop a table, sitting in a chair, or even squatting on my knees. My passion for three-dimensional designs helps me to create sculptures that, I hope, will be worthy of detailed scrutiny and many generations of enjoyment.