Every two years FORMAT selects a number of University of Derby photographic students for the FORMAT Graduate Award. Those artists selected are then included as part of our festival the following year! Today we bring you Lauren Spencer.
Firstly, congratulations on the end of your degree and on the FORMAT Award! How does it feel to have finished your three year journey?
Slightly daunting, but it’s also exciting to consider the next potential steps to take towards building a career as an artist.
So, tell us about the project you exhibited at your degree show? How did it come to be and what were you exploring?
My work Uncollectables: A Museum of Being is a collection of the transient, changeable and unattainable displayed within a set of specimen drawers. The impossibility of owning the intangible things within these drawers alludes to a fruitless, incompletable task as well as signifying a need for self-preservation, a futile desire to hold on to an existence which is ultimately fleeting.
What inspired/influenced you to delve into your subject?
I have always been interested in the human desire to possess things, and I’m also fascinated by museums and how their display of the most mundane items gives those items an elevated status. By presenting things like clouds and ripples in a collection like mine, the ordinary and everyday become special. While researching the project, I discovered how Renaissance-era collectors created Cabinets of Curiosity containing a variety of unusual objects. These cabinets provided a means of understanding- and to some extent controlling- a world which was then largely unexplored. My work emulates this idea of attempting to understand the nature of existence.
What’s next for you and your project?
I’d love to continue to make similar work and am aiming to study for a Masters in fine art or photography in 2013.
What advice would you give those starting their degrees in September?
The great thing about photography is that you can create photographs influenced by absolutely any topic you like. Always make work based around a subject that really interests you- you’ll enjoy the process a lot more if you do!
See more of Lauren’s work visit her website!