Residency : Lauren Bryden - May, 2012


The Print Assembly is an autonomous project promoting innovative printmaking practices and the artist behind the project is textile designer and printer, Lauren Bryden, a graduate from Glasgow School of Art textile department. Lauren was Project Ability’s resident artist for the month of May and we caught up with her towards the end of her project to find out what she had been up to. 

You have been working in Project Ability for one month, how did you prepare yourself for such a short dedicated span of working?  “…I planned my time through a series of structured projects under the central name Night Shades with a focus on the watchman and the circle as a central motif. My starting point was a series of still life compositions as inspiration and a focus on how the work would take shape during the residency.”

Can you talk me through what you have been working on? “Night Shades is a series of colours and spherical shapes which explore ideas of vigilance and remark upon the role of the imaginary watchman. The symbolism of the circle is the central focus of the ideas bringing to mind the clock face, time, observation, all creating a cyclic motion using colour shades spanning the spectrum from white to black.” Lauren began by using found spherical objects such as stickers, sink drainers, masking tape rolls and other objects all tacked together to form a disordered semblance of order. This still life series was the starting point for finished pieces including a painting on an atomized pink PVC canvas and a designed outfit. These final outcomes were stimulated by the still life series which Lauren used to draw stencils and pattern from, revealing the significance of the objects’ purpose not only to shape but to inform the configuration of her designs and patterns. The small compositions appear somewhat industrial yet, with the injection of bold colour moments, Lauren has created a series of pleasing, futile monuments which offer a different viewpoint on the use of transformed detritus in the pursuit of design.
How did working in the communal Project Ability space compare to an independent studio practice?
“…working in Project Ability offered freedom to realise what I didn’t know was already there in my practice and provided me with the opportunity to spend some dedicated time crossing the boundaries between designer and artist, configuring solutions to problems  and indulging the artist side for a change. I liked coming to a space where you see the same faces every day and you all work in this space independently, together. There is a big focus on painting in the Project Ability workshops and I was really influenced by what was going on around me, I think that is what led me to make the painting.”

Lauren Bryden will be exhibiting new work in Project Ability’s residency exhibition in January 2013.  Other forthcoming projects include the development of a new line of fine-art printed clothing, pursuing textile conservation and an ongoing research project titled “Dyeing Communities: recolouring the narrative of post-industrial decay through radical geography and community-led praxis" in collaboration with an academic and archivist based in the Vale of Leven and Grangemouth.