Lauren Oliver is a native New Yorker whose initial training in fashion design sparked her interest in photography. Her works are mostly a mixture of still lifes and self-portraits. She derives her inspiration from memories, colors, and textiles. Photography is her avenue to making her childhood memories tangible: events, people, and traditions. Lauren earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography from SUNY Purchase.
“Catechism is a project that examines my religious upbringing. It is comprised of thirteen color inkjet prints including portraits, self-portraits and still-lives. The photographs contain an inquisitive tone. They serve as the answers to questions I asked myself as a child in response to the religious principles I was taught. This body of work also addresses the conflict between adhering to religious expectations and giving into biological sexual desire.
This project is an exploration of my own growth into womanhood and what it means to question my religious upbringing juxtaposed with my blossoming sexuality. It is my intention to have this body of work call into question the very religion I was taught to hold as the one and only truth. The photographs are rooted in memories I have from growing up in a religious setting. I have found that despite my religious upbringing, that at times I find difficulty in talking about religion. The trouble through communicating does not come from a lack of education, rather the anxiety of blind faith. Through the creation of this project, as well as through conversations with my peers, I have found the same thread of insecurity that comes with outgrowing unrealistic family values and coming to ones own conclusions about religion. I believe that by reimagining religion through photography, I will essentially be talking to a newer, younger audience. They will be able to connect with the idea of questioning the old unaltered structure of religion, with a new and frequently changing artistic medium.”
To view more of Lauren’s work please visit her website.