2nd Place recipient

Fenterstock, portrait

Lauren Fenterstock

I create elaborate sculptures and installations in the material of ladies’ accomplishments such as paper quilling and shellwork. These historically devalued female crafts are often dismissed as amateur arts means to decorate domestic life. By freeing these traditions from the culture of the parlor, I explore their capacity to speak on the complexities of the world beyond the domestic sphere.

My research focuses on the history of nature- specifically, the garden and the grotto. Through these lenses, I explore the often paradoxical ways man has understood his place in the world; and as a result, how these vantage points influence the ways we reshape the world around us. At a time when human activity has developed into a devastating global force, it is critical that we question the cultural and philosophical precedents shaping our understanding of the planet.

My sculptures and installations borrow from diverse sources spanning the Prehistoric, the Enlightenment, the Picturesque, and Modernism. Each of these moments suggest contradictory beliefs in the structure of the world and the notion of time. I believe art creates the unique condition in which this variety of epistemes are able to coexist. My goal is to mix, mistake, and overlap these different languages into something messier, contradictory, and yet more real.