Lauren Ling

-the writing, portfolio, and studio practice of Lauren Ling-

Category: studio work

Tuesdays at Al’s on Display at Gatewood Gallery

I have been working on a long term photo project titled Tuesdays at Al’s. For the last several months I have been spending every Tuesday afternoon at a local bookshop called Glenwood Coffee & Books, owned by a man named Alan Brilliant.

The project is now in its completed form as an artist book, & is on display at the Gatewood Gallery at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as part of their Senior Show. The show will be up through December 23rd. The artist book is comprised of a hand-bound book of twenty three digital images from Glenwood, as well as an etching of Al, & miscellaneous digital prints, pinhole photographs, scans, & cyanotypes.

I have also put together a collection of one hundred images from the bookshop which can be viewed here as part of my portfolio.


In other news, I am finished with my undergraduate degree as of this coming Monday!


Summer School in Past Tense

Classes are over. They have been for a couple of weeks now, but those weeks have been filled with trips to pittsburgh and the ocean, and these things coupled with a decrease of internet consumption. I can’t say I mind. I did want to post some photographs of my ceramic book after firing and also other works from my summer studies.

It was nice to work in such a different visual language. There was a great departure between my summer work and normal school year studio practice and also between my two summer classes. Time spent in the studio was the same, at least thirty hours a week, and this I deeply miss at the moment.

the book in its final form

page detail

a hand built ceramic box; a simple assignment to get used to slab-building with clay

In sculpture, our first project was created from wood and our second from sand. For the first, I used a band saw to cut similar organic forms out of a 2×4. I created a site-specific piece, weaving the man-made wood forms through a found branch to create both visual and physical tension. No adhesives were used in the construction of the piece.

made and found


The sand piece served as an introduction to carving. The “sand stone” was created from a mix of sand and rosin. I struggled for awhile to understand such a reductive process. This is the piece on the day of crit.

Summer School

This summer I am in the basement of the art building. I am taking back to back sculpture and ceramics courses which does not leave much time for photographing, writing, etc.

In ceramics, I just placed my final piece in the kiln for the bisque firing. Here are a few images of my piece before firing.

When not up at the studio, I am settling into our new home in the sedgefield area….


and Garden:

self emulation

I created a photograph, a self-portrait, back in my first film photography course.

I have been wanting to reshoot this image digitally for awhile. The other day I spent an hour in my bath tub, alone with the tripod and camera.

I spent some time playing with new compositions and scenarios to depart from the original image. This is the first time I have recreated one of my own images. I feel it is an important exercise in photography, emulation. Specifically, in the emulation (recreation) of one’s own work, the opportunity is created for new knowledge, new narrative, and a new context to emerge.

on another note entirely, the jerk tempeh was delicious.

the self

My photographic focus this semester has been in self-portraiture. These days, I am working digitally, and am therefore learning to use color to enhance my sense of place. Place, for me, is some combination of objects, movement, light, color, and interaction. Why am I drawn to certain spaces? I work this out visually, processing what I find aesthetically compelling, and then exploring why. The self-portrait is created as I explore various interactions with a place.

I am struggling to find a balance between maintaining a home, spending time with my husband, and making work. I easily get distracted rearranging a room for the tenth time in a month. I easily let my camera sit on the table for a week. I am planning two shows right now, I am trying to cook more, and I am trying to take time to breathe. I had a great conversation with Sara Denman yesterday. She and her husband are taking great steps to live sustainably and with all the right priorities. My husband and I left their home with a stack of handmade paper, old books, and dried peppers from their garden last summer. I was breathing easier until I laid down and remembered I had thrown away my to-do list halfway through this past week. Balance.

Have plans to make jerk tempeh tonight with a massive salad. Also have plans to count the occurrences of letters in many excerpts of text in preparation for making several new maps.


the conceptual

I consider myself primarily a photographer. This is where the bulk of my classes, resources, and interests lie. I have recently discovered that I also greatly enjoy data mapping and typographic design. This past semester I created a map of the first {150} letters of the seventh chapter of the great gatsby, on the road, and the assassination of jesse james. the purpose of the map is to compare the proportional use of each letter of the alphabet in each passage.