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Lauren Pirie

Bio

Lauren Pirie is a Toronto-based artist and curator, working in a range of media and scale, from intricate ink drawings to large-scale murals and sculptural installations. Her practice explores environments in relation to interconnection, desire, and healing; both as themes in her own artwork and through collaborating with and supporting other artists.

Pirie was a co-founder of grassroots art and environmental organization, The About Face Collective, and a TEDxYouth speaker on the subject of art and its power as a tool for inward reflection and outward connection. She’s curated collective art experiences and community events, including recent exhibits at PRIDE and MOCA Toronto, and created site-responsive illuminated soft sculptural installations and public artworks; recently for DesignTO and Winter Light.

Pirie’s largest public installation to date received grant funding as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022 and will be installed in Spring 2022, bringing together some prominent past themes, and collaborators from across disciplines. Pirie’s painting work is currently showing at Maake Projects in Pennsylvania and works from her ongoing collaborative series with lens-based artist Jah Grey have been exhibited at Mayten’s Projects in Toronto in September. This exhibition will include photo and video works from a collaboration between Grey, Pirie and Toronto-based dancers, as well as new illuminated soft sculptures and an exterior installation piece. Pirie will be in residence at PADA studios in Lisbon, Portugal this Fall.

Statement

My drawings, paintings and sculptures illuminate inherent interconnectedness—between human and human and to our shared environment—and at the same time, a yearning for connection. I’m interested in the common threads in our personal and global mythologies, in queer ecologies, our fears and our fantasies, and how our willingness to confront our shadows—individually and collectively—can lead to growth and healing. These themes, while timeless, feel especially relevant in our climate of heightened anxieties, rising temperatures, and, currently, physical distance.

As my work has grown in scale and expanded to include site-responsive and interactive works, and as my collaborations continue to evolve and take on new forms, I’ve become more interested in the idea of emergence as observed in nature; in properties and behaviors which emerge when parts interact as a whole.

Loyal to the natural and the supernatural, coiling shapes in my work softly reference serpents, which are often perceived as evil, but hold ties to the Earth Mother, creative energy, water, and the underworld, and meld fully here with surrealist anatomies. Desire for human connection and physical touch intertwines with a desire for physical and spiritual connection to the earth. Bodies assume and reflect the visual language of plants, or vice versa, and water acts as an escape in itself; a healing liquid to submerge ourselves in; a surface to dip below to confront our hidden selves.

CV

Education:
  • 2008 - Ontario College of Art and Design, Illustration
  • 2007 - Ryerson University, Bachelor Of Design
Selected Exhibitions
  • 2021
  • Upcoming: Conversations, in collaboration with Jah Grey, Mayten’s Art Projects, Toronto, August 2021
  • Embrace, Maake Projects, State College, Pennsylvania, USA, July 2021
  • Upcoming: ArtworxTO, A Longer Story, Installation for Toronto’s Year of Public Art, High Park, Toronto, June - Aug 2022
  • Upcoming: ArtworxTO, Dundas Night Lights, (participating artist) Toronto
  • 2020
  • Winter Light: Cocoon, A Long Story III, Installation, Ontario Place, Toronto, Feb 8 - Mar 29
  • 100 Vases Ceramic Exhibition, The Shop, Toronto, Jan 24 - 25
  • DesignTO, A Long Story II, Installation, The Delisle Space, Toronto, Jan 17 - 26
  • 2019
  • Lauren Pirie, Soho House (Solo Exhibition), Toronto
  • Daegu Art Fair, with Partial Gallery, Daegu, South Korea
  • MOCA x Purple Nights, (curator and artist), Museum Of Contemporary Art, Toronto
  • Pride Toronto (curator and artist), VIP exhibitions, Toronto
  • DDBX Community Projects, (co-curator and artist), 1100 Dupont St, Toronto
  • 2018
  • Nuit Blanche: Deep Season, Gallery + Outdoor Exhibition (curator and artist), 1066 Dundas St/ Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto
  • Dear Summer II (curator and artist), Outdoor Event, Spadina Ave, Toronto
  • BIG On Bloor Festival, Installation Commission, Bloor St, Toronto
  • DDBX Community Projects (curator and artist), Toronto
  • Soft Launch (Solo Exhibition), 1178 Dupont Studios, Toronto
  • Welcome Back, Only One Gallery, Toronto
  • 2017
  • Dear Summer, Live Public Mural Event (curator and artist), Toronto
  • No More Bath Bombs, Unlovable Gallery, Toronto
  • We’re Here Somewhere, Black Cat Gallery, Toronto
  • 2016
  • Lauren Pirie; Recent Works (Solo Exhibition), Only One Gallery, Toronto
  • Surface Art Fair, Artscape Sandbox, Toronto
  • The One That Got Away, Artscape Youngplace, Toronto
  • 2015
  • Paper Trails, Black Cat Gallery, Toronto
  • The Weight Of Moons (Solo Exhibition), Huntclub Gallery, Toronto
  • 2013
  • Fish Songs Of The Shining Waters (Solo Exhibition), Huntclub Gallery, Toronto
Residencies
  • 2021
  • Upcoming: PADA Studios Artist Residency, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2019
  • La Sierra Artist Residency, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Blue Apple Artist Residency, Cartagena, Colombia
  • 2017
  • Casa Verde, Self-directed, Puerto Escondido, Mexico
  • 2016
  • Facebook Artist in Residence Program, Mural commission, Facebook Toronto
Selected Talks
  • 2020
  • Artifier, ‘Remote Art Talks’, online
  • DesignTO, ‘Connection Points’, The Delisle Space, Toronto
  • 2018
  • Toronto Outdoor Art Show, ‘Building The Creative City’ (w Partial Gallery), Toronto
  • 2017
  • TedxYouth Toronto, Arts Speaker, Toronto
Selected Publications:
  • 2020
  • AGO Insider, “Serpentine Symbiosis; Toronto artist Lauren Pirie paints murals that showcase the connection between humans, Mother Nature and the divine”, Matthew Progress
  • The Spaces Magazine, “Glowing limbs reach through The Delisle Space in Toronto for DesignTO”, Betty Wood
  • 2018
  • CBC Arts, “Let Toronto artist Lauren Pirie take you into her ‘weird dream world’”, (‘In
  • Process’ artist feature), Mercedes Grundy
  • The Kit Compact Magazine, “How launching a mental health platform changed my life”, Meghan Yuri Young
  • 2017
  • Holr Magazine, “Through Their Eyes”, (artist feature) Ksenia Edwards
  • The Kit Compact Magazine, “So Rage Is Officially Our Default Setting”, Nancy Won
  • 2015
  • The Kit Compact Magazine, Dark Arts Issue, Cover Artist, Nov 201
  • 2013
  • Herman & Audrey, “Lauren Pirie” (artist feature)
  • Flare Magazine, “Drawn To Her” (artist feature), Nov 2013
Selected Commissions and Public Work
  • 2022
  • A Longer Story, Installation for ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art, Toronto
  • 2021
  • Tammy’s Wine Bar, Mural comission, Pakdale, Toronto
  • 2020
  • ODE Dundas Hotel, Facade Artwork Commission, Toronto
  • Port Credit BIA/ STEPS Initiative, public art commission, Mississauga
  • STEPS Initiative, public art commission, Toronto
  • 2019
  • Kimpton St. George Hotel, Painting Commission, Toronto
  • Airbnb Design Experience, Painting and Installation Commission, Toronto
  • 2018
  • The STEPS Innitiative, Painting Commission, Toronto
  • Womxn Paint, public mural, Toronto
  • Bloordale BIA, Mural Commission, Toronto
  • 1178 Dupont Studios, mural commission, Toronto
  • Assembly Chef ’s Hall, Outdoor mural commission, Toronto
  • 2017
  • Ceviche Surf Company, Mural Commission, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Kensington Market BIA / Sweet Hart, Mural Commission, Toronto
  • Pepe’s Restaurant, Mural Commission, Puerto Escondido, Mexico
  • 2016
  • Nuit Blanche, Live Mural Commission For Vintage Ink Wine, Nuvango Gallery, Toronto
  • Easy Tiger, Mural and Installation Commission, Dundas St W, Toronto
  • 2015
  • Boralia Restaurant, Mural Commission for Qanuk Interiors, Toronto