Q&A with Travers Smith's CSR Art Programme artist Lauren Jackson

Q&A with Travers Smith's CSR Art Programme artist Lauren Jackson

Tell us a little about yourself

I'm a British photographer based in Amsterdam. Initially when I first adopted an interest in photography I was very seduced by the classical and documentary photography. I think I became aware that my interest towards photography was very significant whilst studying at college, I often skipped all my others classes to be in the photography department…

Tell us more about your work?

I am very interested in the way people seek wholeness and completion, something which I also conceive as impossible. Through a route of placing myself within the healing world, attending a spiritualist church, having healings conducted on me and so on. This unexpectedly generated me to pursue an aesthetic for my own visual language, dealing with it in a very metaphysical sense. I often used materials and objects throughout the project which construct this visual quality between the potential and performative elements. They rest on uncertainty, the feeling of 'is something going to happen – or not?' and often incompleteness.

The second part was re-staging my healing experiences. The merging of the two aided in blurring between reality and fiction and also, became parallel to the journey and experiences. The project became a form of therapy for me dealing with something, which is often what photography can be for someone I think. 

I never reveal which photographs are specifically re-staged from the healings and due to the images retaining a very polysemic nature, this plays with the viewer's interpretation. That is a big part of the work. 

How did it feel to be selected to take part in this year's CSR Art Programme?

I felt both shocked and flattered to be selected amongst the outstanding work at Free Range was totally unexpected. When the programme was mentioned during my second year of university I remember everyone sounded very excited and had a little twinkle in their eyes. I must say it was also quite surreal for me, my work had never gone beyond the exhibition or university walls. 

How do you think being featured will help you in your emerging career?

I think the CSR Programme is a very distinctive opportunity, for myself I could not have imagined my work coming into this type of context without it. I think it adds something different, rather than just having my work exhibited in a gallery, it has now opened my work up to a completely new audience. To be able to receive a response from a different audience is also very interesting and exciting. 

Most importantly though, the programme has given me the chance to build up relationships, grasp a different audience and speak a new language about selling my work, which was very alien to me before. This is all important experience for me as an artist. 

What's next on the horizon for you?

Since graduating I have relocated to Amsterdam to pursue an internship at an international photography magazine. Right now I am very motivated to do a few internships within the field of photography, to learn new skills and test out different positions. Now is the best time to really take advantage of this. A longer-term goal is to further my study and complete a masters, potentially in art history. I will continue my practice, but at a much slower pace for now. 

Lastly, I was also very fortunate to be selected for Crane Kalman's Cream exhibition last year and featured online for Wallpaper* Graduate Directory 2018. 


Lauren was one of our 2017-18 artists. Read about more of our Art Programme artists here.

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