Lauren Rutten : ARTIST STATEMENT
My art emerges from my quest to understand embodiment, what it is to live as a spiritual being contained within the limitations of human form. I have made public this intimate and often deeply vulnerable exploration of my own lived experience of self, life, body, birth and death. My work is an investigation of the origins and destinations of body and soul, as I attempt to deconstruct identity and place. Choosing to collect the corpses of animals and reverently bringing them home to dissect and retrieve their bones for my art is a powerful multidimensional experience. The red thread, on which each knot remembers a prayer I once made, is also a reminder of the absent blood vessels that once encased the dry bones. When I use it to bind the bones to my body, I am acknowledging the immortality of ancestry and my own mortality.
In this act, I am many of my selves: the curious child, who picked at the scabs on her knees fascinated by a glimpse beneath the crust to where life was rotting and rejuvenating simultaneously. I am the shaman, conjuring up healing, I am the woman seeking reconciliation with an aging body, I am the artist and my creativity is the alchemy that will rekindle new life from the marrow sleeping within dry bones. Is the memory of the missing flesh upon these animal bones, or the mythical creature whose skeleton I create with my imagination any less real or alive than the bones I believe are hidden beneath my flesh but I have never seen?
This is a quantum exploration of the relationship between observation and imagination, perception and objectivity, consciousness and reality, matter and energy, place and self. At the heart of it all, my work is about focusing my awareness through the twin lenses of art and spiritual practice. It is an invitation to find the elusive intersection between the temporary fragility of human life and the ecstatic, infinite, immutability of the soul.