Contemporary Indigenous artist, Lauren Freestone's art stars in Luke and Jasmin's Block studio apartmemt
How long have you been producing your art?
About 6 years now. I was always creative growing up but started to take it more seriously as I got older and started selling my work about 5-6 years ago.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I take a lot of inspiration from my family and our history and also our beautiful country. I grew up on beautiful Gumbaynggirr Country mid north coast NSW and a lot of my work is inspired by the ocean as well as the landscapes of Wiradjuri Country where my Dad's family comes from.
Lauren's work explores her connection to country, her family and their history. Although following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather Lauren has developed her own contemporary style.
Your art features on The Block this year?
It’s very surreal. It was Luke and Jasmine that selected my artwork. My partner Lucas put my name forward on an Instagram post and I thought nothing of it. When I got the email I was excited but terrified! It’s such a great opportunity as an artist but I really wanted to make sure I used this opportunity in a positive way by donating a portion of the profit and highlighting an Aboriginal led charity or business.
What does it mean for you to have your art featured on The Block and be a Block Shop artist?
It’s not something I ever thought would happen. My Dad is a great artist and I grew up watching him paint and exhibit his work so I saw a lot of talented Aboriginal artists but never thought I would be doing the same, let alone have one of my pieces featured on the Block.
'Guyang' in Luke and Jasmin's studio was painted at a time when Australia, our country, was on fire. The flame-like shapes across the bottom represent the Spirit of all Aboriginal people- past, present & future. The Spirit of over 65,000 years of culture, land management and respect for mother nature.
How long does it take you to create a piece?
It depends how intricate it is, I never sit and finish a piece in one go, I am always coming back to it. One of my biggest pieces took me nearly 3 months.
How would you describe your art?
I would say contemporary, sometimes a little abstract in my landscapes. It’s a personal reflection of my family and experience.
How do you come up with a name for your artwork?
I do often struggle but there is usually one that stays with me. Sometimes it’s based on emotion sometimes it's really straight forward. I’m not a very articulate person I find it much easier to express myself creatively.
Are there any particular artists that inspire you?
My Dad definitely, but there are so many- seeing Miimi & Jiinda on the block last year was very inspiring. They are just incredible! My dad sold his work alongside many amazing artists at local Saltwater freshwater festivals and I think watching them all do what they love really inspired me to give it a go too.
How do you fit your art around life/kids/work?
I was working 3 days a week up until June and I only had one dedicated day to paint without my busy three-year-old. I would just get up really early to paint or paint late at night- when you love what you’re doing you seem to make time. Now that I am not working elsewhere I am able to have more time with my family and my art. I guess my tip would be if you are juggling too much to let something go if you can. Easier said than done though.
Jasmin is happy with her art delivery on the steps of 'their Block home Summerhill'.
Favourite Block couple?
Luke and Jasmine & Jimmy and Tam.
What would you buy yourself from The Block Shop?
Definitely a Miimi & Jiinda artwork.
Favourite artwork you own?
I have a 2m piece of my Dads artwork which is very special to me.
A perfect Sunday afternoon would be…
At the beach with family and friends.
Shop 'Guyang' and 50% of all profit on this item will be donated to Miimi Mothers of Bowraville NSW. Miimi is an Aboriginal owned Corporation supporting women and families by developing programs and providing services to the community.