Unorthodox integrity Artist Lauren Corbin

by MADELEINE PECK WAGNER
Artist Lauren Corbin is a reminder that editing oneself is not the same as self-censorship, and that in the service of a creative endeavor, editing is an essential tool. A printmaker with exquisite drafting skills, Corbin deftly fuses an unorthodox agenda with highly rendered imagery using a variety of printmaking techniques, resulting in images that suspend the viewer’s sense of disbelief. Effectively creating scenarios where understanding is gleaned intuitively, these pieces are created with precision and skill, heightening their power.
Often finding points of departure in that which has been overlooked, Corbin’s curiosity drives her to seek out the unusual and underappreciated. At her day job as an Artist-in-Residence at Shands Jacksonville, Corbin interacts with lower-income patients, often from the surrounding area of Springfield, who are in crisis. She uses art to bridge societal gaps, and the results are overwhelmingly positive. “I find the work in the psych unit is one of the most rewarding and engaging aspects of my job; there are material and technical restrictions, and then these same boundaries often appear in my own work as I transition between typical tools and unexpected ones.”
For her latest pieces, a suite of monoprints accented with drawings, Corbin says she chose to explore objects and subjects removed from their traditional settings and juxtaposed against design. “As a printmaker, balancing organic qualities against pattern and repetition is an important part of what I do. I think it allows me to engage in a contemporary manner without foregoing those aspects of rendering that create something of a story.”
Her recent pieces have been extrapolated from an ongoing body of work that includes daily, tiny pieces that reflect objects both found and imagined (monoprints of texture and watercolors of asinine monsters or of her tortoise, Walter). Indeed, it is imagination fused to technical prowess that engages viewers and other artists alike in her works. She also refuses to use things like projectors or tracings in her work because she strongly believes that a part of being a successful artist is the skill to translate ideas into actuality. “I start with an idea and work it to a point of believability, then I move into an intuitive mode and watch what happens.”
During the May Art Walk, artist Christina Foard is showing a selection of other artists at her studio space on the top floor of the AT&T building (www.christinafoard.com/home.html) in a show titled Cityscape 2012: Acquaint. She says of Corbin, “[She] juxtaposes unlikely components of design, drawing and innovation. She grasps the absurd, the beautiful and the poignant in the world around her, and this delicate interwoven sensibility is evident in her work. I want to do my part to introduce her to the Jacksonville art scene.”
However, the artist herself is shy and even a little reluctant to discuss her images and her processes “I feel there is a problem in pinpointing what I am doing because it always changes,” Corbin says. “In fact, the idea I’d had for the Acquaint show evolved away from the original idea because I thought of a better way to represent it. My start point and my end point almost always end up being very far away from one another; rarely do I commit to one idea or process because it always morphs as I go.”
Perhaps it is this willingness to change direction midstream, to obsessively edit and re-edit her own work with concern for only that which is successful and meaningful, that causes Foard to say, “[Corbin] is, unquestionably, one of the strongest young artists in our city and her work captivates my imagination. It is an honor to show with her.”

About EU Jacksonville

october, 2021

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