Lauren Baker to Unveil ‘Consciousness Awakening’ Sculpture at Venice Biennale

Lauren Baker to Unveil 'Consciousness Awakening' Sculpture at Venice Biennale

Consciousness Awakening By Lauren Baker
Pre-opening: 18 and 19 April
Free public exhibition: 20 Apr until 24 Nov 2024 / Open daily, 7.30am-8.30pm
European Cultural Centre, Marinaressa Gardens, Venice, Italy
In conjunction with Venice Biennale

Consciousness Awakening, part of the Nature Is Watching series, will be exhibited in the renowned Marinaressa Gardens for Venice Biennale 2024.

Inspired by the folkloric reverence of the silver birch and aspen, known as “The Watchful Tree” within medieval literature and myths, Lauren Baker’s Consciousness Awakening encapsulates the essence of nature’s vigilance and the interconnectedness of all living things. Within these ancient tales, the trees were perceived as guardians of ancient wisdom, and conduits between the earthly realm and the divine.

Lauren Baker to Unveil 'Consciousness Awakening' Sculpture at Venice Biennale
Consciousness Awakening by Lauren Baker at the foundry

It is this bond between human beings and the natural world which inspired the sculpture, the latest in Baker’s ‘Nature is Watching’ series. The inclusion of feminine eyes emerging from a tree-like plant, reminds us that Mother Nature is alive, opening the door to a harmonious dialogue and connection between the observer and the observed. Baker’s artwork encapsulates the essence of nature’s vigilance and the vitality of the natural world, with the eyes symbolising the trees’ role as guardians of earth’s rich biodiversity.

Rooted in this profound connection to nature, the sculpture serves as a poignant reflection on the theme of “Foreigners Everywhere” by prompting us to consider our own role as foreigners in the vast fabric of existence, embracing a stronger connection with the natural world and reconsider our perceptions of what is familiar and foreign in the natural realm.

Lauren Baker to Unveil 'Consciousness Awakening' Sculpture at Venice Biennale
Consciousness Awakening by Lauren Baker

“The sculpture evokes a mysterious and dreamlike quality. It invites the viewer to contemplate the complex relationship between humans and the natural world thereby conveying a deeper understanding of existence, mortality, and the interconnectedness of all living things” – James Putnam, British Curator

Throughout ancient myths, forests were often portrayed as having a sort of consciousness or awareness and seen as places where the boundary between the human world and the realm of the supernatural becomes blurred.

Baker’s commitment to environmental stewardship is demonstrated through a pledge to plant 8888 trees in the Amazon rainforest. By fostering a deeper appreciation for the beauty and resilience of nature, Consciousness Awakening inspires viewers to embrace their role as guardians of the earth’s rich biodiversity. It prompts reflection on the impact of our actions and our shared responsibility to protect the planet.

Lauren Baker to Unveil 'Consciousness Awakening' Sculpture at Venice Biennale
Consciousness Awakening by Lauren Baker at Venice Biennale

Previous high profile artists showing with the ECC in Venice include Marina Abramovic, Anthony Gormley, Louis Bourgeois, Yoko Ono, and Peter Blake. Also at the Marinaressa Gardens specifically previous artists include: Carole Feuerman, Martin George, Richard Orlinski, Naja Utzon Popov, Masoud Akhavanjam.

“Through her thought-provoking work, Lauren Baker challenges us to transcend our current perspectives and engage with the urgent environmental imperatives of our time. Through her artistic lens, Baker beckons us to not only observe but also to actively respond and connect to Nature’s pressing calls for conservation and preservation.” – Sara Danieli, Director, European Cultural Centre, Italy

Can’t wait till Venice? Lauren Baker currently has two public light art installations in London: ‘The Trees Are Watching’, which is part of the ‘Nature Is Watching’ series, and incorporates neon eyes within a 12 metre tree at The Arc, Shoreditch, until June 2024; as well as the the 3.5 metre ‘Luna Woman Power Totem’, which is a permanent installation at Palmers Green, Enfield to commemorate the Suffragette movement.

©2024 Lauren Baker

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