I met Lauren Semivan in Portland at Photolucida in 2010. Her work is moody, mystical, graphic and lyrical – like great music, I want to swim in the images. Her images give me fodder for my imagination. These beautiful black and white images are symphonies using elaborately crafted backdrops, make a two dimensional art form full of depth and substance.
Lauren Semivan (b.1981, USA) earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI and Bachelor of Arts degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Her work has been exhibited at many galleries and museums including the Xiang Sha Wan Art Palace, China, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Meltem Birey Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, Cranbrook Art Museum, Cleveland Institute of Art, Kinkead Contemporary in Culver City, CA, David Klein Gallery in Birmingham, MI and Daimler Chrysler Financial Services Headquarters in Berlin, Germany. Lauren’s work was selected for Photolucida’s Critical Mass competition in 2009 and 2010. In 2008 she received the Griffin Award through the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA. Her work has been published by Wright State University Press, in Photography Now: 100 Portfolios, and in Shots Magazine. Lauren lives and works in Richmond, VA.
The staged photograph exists as a document of a preconceived, imagined event. It can be compared to a scientific apparatus, utilizing both control and the unknown. My ongoing body of work, Observatory, combines characters real and imagined with a partially autobiographical record of dreams, preoccupations, desires, anxieties, and symbols within the collective unconscious.
In scientific disciplines, a line is classified as an event. Something as primitive as a scrawl on a surface reveals an aggregate of events, intersecting and changing course. Drawings made on the seamless backdrop function as a narrative tool used to describe an emotional space.
Within each image, ghosts of previous drawings create a sense of time suspended, evoking gesture, atmosphere and memory. Photographs allow me to access the extraordinary, to keep a record of dreams, and to employ the uses of the unknown.