Last year, glacéau vitaminwater ran a vigorous campaign to promote and nurture the UK’s burgeoning creative talents. This summer they’ve seriously upped the ante, backing an innovative seven-week project #shinebrightstudio, based in the loading bay of The Truman Brewery, situated in the iconic environs of the East End's Brick Lane.
A pop-up space like no other, it will afford young, ambitious minds an opportunity to explore and gain inspiration from some of the biggest names in the creative industries. In addition to art and fashion exhibitions there will be the opportunity to attend mentoring sessions with Mo Wax mogul James Lavelle, filmmaker turned media boss Jamal Edwards, fashion designers Agi & Sam and Christopher Raeburn amongst others. Opening the event with an exclusive performance was Foxes, who said she was “thrilled to be performing and holding a mentoring workshop where we can all talk about our shared passion for music and arts”.
Additional partners for the event include Rosie Wolfenden from cult jewelry outfit Tatty Devine; creative start-up master Doug Richard, Bestival organiser and label boss Rob Da Bank and the emerging design talents of the Bread Collective. Additionally they are offering the chance for a lucky individual to:
> Win a place worth £3,500 on the School For Creative Startups' nine-month training and support programme, where they can gain invaluable business know-how from experts in the industry, as well as all the tools they need to get their concept off the ground (more information).
> The chance for one lucky winner to display their talent and exhibit at the shinebright studio for the final week.
> To enter ,you can share your 15-second pitch at instagram.com/vitaminwatercolour.
To learn a little more about the project Clash spoke with a superstar in the ascent, the very talented Lauren Baker. Formerly a PR, she gave up promoting others to follow her dream of becoming a visual artist after travelling to South America - an experience that fundamentally altered the course of her professional life.
“My life changed dramatically after I visited the Peruvian Amazon…I met some shamans and we shared wisdoms. I felt so alive there. It was here that I had an epiphany that life without creativity is life without meaning. I decided to become an artist, jacked in the corporate world and never looked back.
Her work is primarily concerned with the boundaries and thresholds of life, which she’s quick to acknowledge as explorations into the unknownn and invisible. “I think about the potential of afterlife, other realms and dimensions. I think about people’s auras and energy fields. I think about how everyone and everything is connected.”
Engaging and responding to natural processes allows her to retain a sense of fluidity in her artistic identity. “I consider myself to be a contemporary multi-media and installation artist. I draw inspiration from the world around me and aim to express my own thoughts and discoveries. Spirituality, the natural world and cosmological processes are interlinked and shape us all.”
Ostensibly she’s still at the beginning of her career, but already she is teeming with ideas for future projects. “I’m constantly experimenting and evolving. I’m into science. I love neon. I’m magnetised to metallic. I’m obsessed with other realms and dimensions. I like art that plays with all the senses. I’ve also been experimenting with kinetic artworks and video recently. I enjoy creating abstract, mixed-media ‘aura’ paintings. My most recent work - explores energy, frequency and vibrations through colour."
Her revelatory experiences followed her to Brazil, where she had the opportunity to work on a street art mosaic project where she met an inspiring artist and activist called Liz Onda. “She had a message; that ‘art is medicine’. I share her inclusive attitudes towards art. I discovered my passion at 29 and I’ve been creating for three years now. I share my experiences and encourage people to make time for creativity and believe in themselves. People kindly say my art workshops are inspirational, which is really lovely to hear.”
And she’s bringing some of that inspiration to bear in her support of #shinebrightstudio. “It’s super cool when brands invest in art,” she maintains. ”Providing a space to exhibit and offering support to emerging artists is admirable.” Lauren will be hosting a Q&A and hopes that she can share her experiences and inspire young artists to follow in her footsteps. Refreshingly, her ideas are as dynamic as her art.
“My advice to young creatives is to work hard, get yourself out there, go to loads of art fairs and private views, network, don’t expect or want everyone to like your work, experiment, ask for feedback, learn from mistakes, don’t give up, never give up! I’m doing my dream job. The dream is hard work, but it’s my dream.”
This is sage advice to all aspiring artists out there that would do well to get involved in #shinebrightstudio. Such creative dialogue and support is hard to overestimate in terms of impact. So if you fancy following your dream, for a summer or a lifetime, get down to the Truman Brewery over the coming weeks and get involved in an incredible way.
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