Feature Articles

September 2013

Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, SC, Features Works by Lauren Hill

The Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg in Spartanburg, SC, will present Never Forget, a solo exhibit by Lauren Hill, on view in the Guild Gallery, located at the Chapman Cultural Center, from Sept. 3 - 27, 2013. A reception will be held on Sept. 19, from 6-8pm, with an art talk at 7pm.

The exhibition is a powerful sharing of Lauren Hill’s observations of families who have or have had members serving in the US. Military. As we enter the month of September, the searing memories of 911 flood our minds and hearts, and we think of those near and dear that have sacrificed lives, bodies, time and families, so our freedom is secured. It is a great honor to share with our community this exhibit that calls us all to offer thanks to our service men and women daily, as we are encouraged by this beautiful artist and her incredible art work, to “Never Forget”.

Hill describes her exhibit with honesty: “I don’t have any family in the military. But that doesn’t matter. I don’t always agree with our country’s political agenda. But that doesn’t matter either. I have watched families’ hearts break. I have felt the sting of worry with every released war torn story that ticks across the evening news… waited and wondered if a phone call would come tomorrow. Watched mothers crumble to their knees as they’re told their baby is not coming home. I have met widows and widowers who were met by Class A’s at the door. I’ve seen a body torn apart by shrapnel, leaving wounds for a lifetime, and heard the story of how he lived and his best friend died. I’ve seen a man broken to the point where he no longer knows who he used to be, but only the soldier he has become.”

“That is what matters,” adds Hill. “And it should to so many Americans who enjoy the freedoms these war torn men and women have afforded them.”

“Most of the touching things I’ve experienced were not said with words. It was in the gaze between two soldiers, two brothers, whom would lay down their life for the other that I was most inspired. The things they couldn’t bear to talk about, expressed in a look or a pat on the back that no civilian could understand. Things they’d seen together that would never be spoken of. A nightmare of a world you and I will never see, tucked behind a brave face and a strong heart, hidden where only those who go looking can see.”

“There in the shadows of life experience and heartbreak, I found my inspiration. I found a scene that the world needed to see. And so I began my journey through paintings of the soldier that you don’t see on the evening news: the men and women who are known only by their family and friends, and to a stranger only a faceless weapon. I want to create a conversation about these selfless individuals who often aren’t even thanked… because you and I wouldn’t last a minute in most of their shoes. And we live peaceably in ours because of them,” say Hill.

Hill was born in 1988 in Knoxville, TN. At a young age she began moving frequently with her family across much of the eastern United States. Despite the various moves, one thing remained constant: Hill loved creating art and was intent on learning to capture a person’s likeness.

In 2006, Hill began attending Savannah College of Art and Design to major in painting. There she enjoyed working primarily realistically in oils. Through exploration of technique, she began experimenting with layered images, multiples of figures, and the concepts of time and movement across a two dimensional plane. Lauren was fascinated with capturing a moment in time and the memories that surround it. She graduated in the top of her class from SCAD in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. Hill works both in Charlotte, NC and the Upstate of SC.

Hill continues to depict the human condition and is inspired by the emotion that art can bring. “My paintings demonstrate my desire to capture the time, form, and movement of an individual’s life. I not only want to depict the human condition, but to also unpack moments of a person’s life across a two dimensional plane. My work explores what the eye sees in a matter of seconds, slowing an action down, wrapping it around the body, and capturing it at various rates and resolutions.”

“Time seems to pass at a constant rate, though we sometimes experience it in flashes of unregistered activity and at other moments, time seems tied to memories that may last a lifetime,” adds Hill. “The notion of being caught in a moment that transcends time has always intrigued me. This, along with the idea of a defining moment of an action that one’s brain catalogs as a visual memory are ideas I enjoy exploring. Layered imagery and figures, and multiple images lend themselves to the depiction of a moment to be unwrapped by the viewer.”

“Ambiguous spaces lacking in pictorial depth offer a compressed time and area in which the figure is allowed to move. It closes off the action from any definable space and from the continuation of time preceding and following it. The actions I choose to depict range from iconic image-inspired poses to everyday encounters with people who may not relate to the viewer in quite the same way. The viewer can either be fixed in place while the figures move, or the figures may be fixed in place while the viewer takes on multiple viewpoints,” says Hill.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, or visit (www.artistsguildofspartanburg.com).

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