Lauren Frances Evans

Location: Birmingham, AL

Describe your featured work:

Indwelling, 2019, video installation, dimensions variable (full video)

My daughter’s presence inside of me became increasingly apparent as her movements became more visible. Astonished, I would capture these rolls and kicks with my phone, amassing dozens of videos of my growing stomach. In transparent layers, these numerous videos now coalesce and loop to become one video projection, Indwelling.

Alien and otherworldly, the droning baseline of the soundtrack comes from the actual sounds, recorded by NASA, of the rings of Saturn. In intervals, the distorted and haunting melody of varying versions of the song Wrapped Up, Tied Up, Tangled Up come in and out of focus, mounting in intensity over the 40 minutes of the piece. The song, edited nearly to the point of indiscernibility, is one that I grew up singing, complete with hand motions, in the Christian school of my youth. The complexities of my own history become entangled with the new life forming inside of me. In that liminal space of becoming our identities are entirely wrapped up in one another’s.

The trinitarian entanglement of the Christian faith is so beautifully complex, and in my recent work, I have endeavored to imbue it with even more complexity and richness as I suss out a notion of maternal subjectivity which I sense has been buried there all along.

En Caul, 2020, printed lycra fabric, sewn and stuffed with fiberfil, steel armature, padding, and needle-felted wool, 5x3x3′

En Caul, side view

What are you making now?

Before becoming a mother, I always thought of attachment and separation as psychologies experienced by the child. I didn’t realize until experiencing it firsthand that these psychologies very much go both ways. I’ve been thinking a lot about this entanglement. At times I imagine vividly that my daughter and I are still connected by this cord. Often, I tug at the cord, longing for my independence from her, and more often than not, she tugs to bring me closer, unwilling to let me exist apart from her.

My current work explores these psychodynamics through primarily sculptural means. I’ve been creating soft, flexible forms with fabric and needle-felted wool that seek to express many of these bidirectional tensions of the human, and specifically the maternal, experience.

Thinly Veiled, 2019, printed lycra fabric, stuffed and stretched over board, 3′ x 2′ x 3′

Transitioning (not sure what to think/be without you in my arms), 2019, needle-felted wool, 3″ x 3″ x 3″

I belong to CIVA because…

CIVA has proven itself to be an organization that thoughtfully engages matters of faith alongside a serious art discourse. It has provided me, personally, with an outlet to explore the theological dimensions of my creative practice with depth and meaning, with plenty of room for questioning and doubt. I’ve been so impressed (and at times perplexed) by the way that CIVA manages to serve such a diverse range of artists, thinkers, and faith leaders with such dimensionality and grace. I’m so grateful to be part of the conversation.

Lauren Frances Evans currently lives and works in Birmingham, AL where she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Samford University. Evans’ work and writing has been featured in several publications including The Other Journal, PromptPress, and CIVA’s SEEN Journal. Last year, she presented a paper at the CAA conference entitled “How We Are Fed: Artist Mothers and the Online Community,” and organized a session titled “The Artist as Parent as Academic” for the 2019 SECAC conference. Evans is the founder and facilitator of the Artist/Parent/Academic Network and is mother to one child, Agnes Prairie.

Instagram: @laurenfrancesevans @artistparentacademic
Facebook: (@lafranmo)