WOMEN WHO CREATE: LAUREN SEIDEN ON HOW SHE USES GRAPHITE TO CAPTURE TEMPORARY MOMENTS
New York-based Lauren Seiden, is preoccupied with the concept of material transformation, and her art is grounded in this ideology. “I test the conventions of drawing by breaking down, or building up the surface, in order to transform my materials into a physical and structural form.” Seiden goes on to talk about this process in detail: “My work creates a balance between strength and fragility, allowing for necessary manipulation in order to maintain stability. There is an equilibrium of both loss and gain and this is integral to the transformation, as I capture fragile, temporary moments locked in stasis.”
Keen to underline the natural life- cycle of graphite – the raw material at the centre of her work – Seiden says: “As these materials transition, they become something new. I try to maximise the use of graphite in my work, opening it up to the process of time and history, while demonstrating the capacities of drawing in four dimensions.” For Seiden, the process is paramount and the product secondary, and this approach is made manifest in everything she touches. With a host of physical exhibitions to her name – Mattatuck Museum, New Haven, Gallery Nosco, The Drawing Centre – this ethos stands unwavering, and final exhibits never take precedence to process.
Her main aim is to create new methods of expression through the multi-faceted nature of graphite. Interested in finding out where her fascination with this natural material comes from, Seiden tells us: “The pencil is just better, it is a more natural extension for me and enables me to get my ideas out there.
For me, graphite is limitless, and I’m constantly finding new ways to apply it, both conceptually and physically. It’s also a tool at the foundation of every artist’s studio practice yet it is usually considered as a secondary being, less important. I find that fascinating. I really want to bring drawing into the foreground by redefining its terms.”