Lauren Marie Haywood: Create to Change
She is young, self-sufficient and invested in things that hold a special place in her heart. Lauren Marie Haywood is a black female artist who lives in London, UK, has unique Caribbean roots, and makes pieces that present powerful stories of her cultural heritage.
Story written by the young Writer Daniele Kieraite
Lauren shared a warm smile when she revealed that besides being independent and creative, she has a love for academic study. “I love anything arts-related, anything history related, and a lot of the things that I am very passionate about make their way into the artwork that I create.” A young woman bases her pieces around the topics of identity, race, nationality and migration, as these things are a huge part of her life story. “I have lived abroad a bit; my family came to Britain from the Caribbean, so that’s sort of concept of migration fits into everything”, she tells me. “Obviously, I’m living life in London as a black woman, so there are several different experiences within that in itself.”
“I’m obviously very invested and very passionate about what I do, and I want as many people as possible to benefit from the positive messages that I put into my work and maybe some of the harsher truths that I think a lot of people should know about our shared history”
Last November, female creative was invited to take part in the TV show Sky Art’s Unmuted, hosted by Sky News and she was discovered by the one set designer of the show via Instagram. Haywood feels extremely happy about this experience and defines it as a highlight of her artistic career. “I think it’s just been so interesting how, because of Covid, the connection that I otherwise would have had made in person been so easy to make online”, says Lauren to me. “It was a fantastic experience; everyone at the studio was so kind, they made so much effort to facilitate me to get my artwork to the studio and back safely”. Besides participating in the TV show, a woman has been noticed by several media outlets, including Art Plugged, She Curates, AN Magazine, Buzzfeed and many more. Acknowledged, yet down-to-earth charismatic creative holds a list of exhibitions in her baggage, including being featured in the Handbook of Creative Confidence, F.H. Curate, Ekphriasis, Shiver Arts, The Rafiki Gallery, Bizzarre Beautiful, Roys Art Fair, A.N. Artist’s Info, Creative Debuts, SadGrads and the Uncultured Swine. Lauren feels grateful and lucky about people seeing her work and learning new things through her pieces. “I think it’s such a great privilege”, she tells me. “I’m obviously very invested and very passionate about what I do, and I want as many people as possible to benefit from the positive messages that I put into my work and maybe some of the harsher truths that I think a lot of people should know about our shared history”.
“I think I’ve always really enjoyed creating things, even as a kid, I loved anything, any kind of paper, scissors, whatever I could get my hands on and create something out of it.”
Art plays a vital role in Haywood’s life, as it helps her connect with people and other creatives and share her knowledge and personal experiences. “I think it (art) is fantastic, a really great way for people to share their innermost, maybe fears, their innermost passions, and I think that’s probably why I enjoy doing what I do so much”, she says to me. “Just the idea that you can connect with so many people through one painting or one photograph.” A young artist expresses herself through various mediums: drawing, painting, digital illustration, sculpture and performance that celebrate and accentuate the uniqueness and the beauty of black features. Lauren even came across producing edible artworks that explored the idea of skin tones as different flavours of chocolates. “That was a really interesting project to work on, and I ended up calling it the Complexion Complex where I created a huge variety of chocolates that were portraits of black women, of a massive variety of skin tones.” The whole artistry process genuinely excites young woman, as it makes her visions tangible. “The idea that I can come up with a concept in my head and then almost bring that to the reality, either with play or with a pencil, and this idea that I can create a whole world of whatever materials are in front of me has always been fun to explore.”
“I think we need to learn to listen to each other, to hear each other and really to love each other a lot more than we do”
The starting point of Haywood’s creative journey is childhood. “I think I’ve always really enjoyed creating things, even as a kid, I loved anything, any kind of paper, scissors, whatever I could get my hands on and create something out of it.” Whilst learning at school, Lauren received the attention from her peers who had been fascinated by the female’s artistic capabilities and trusted her enough to assist in realising their visions on a piece of paper, which later inspired woman to choose a path of the professional arts. “That whole experience of the sort of freelancing while I was in high school really pushed me to pursue art as a full-time career and pushed me to apply for a Fine Arts course at the University of Westminster, which is where I ended up.” Now Lauren Marie Haywood works in a primary school, whereas a part of her job, she illustrates children books. “You know, growing up, I didn’t necessarily see the images that I create today, and I think I really would have benefited from seeing that sort of thing as a child”, she reveals to me. “A lot of what I do is really wanting to make a difference or make an impact within the wider community that I’m a part of”. In the future, the female creative plans to get a Masters degree in Fine Arts.
“That whole experience of the sort of freelancing while I was in high school really pushed me to pursue art as a full-time career...”
Despite reaching the stars in her artistic career, Lauren has faced painful challenges along the way. “In the part of London where I live in, my whole life I’ve been experiencing name-calling, or people who saw my progressions, things that people say, but they don’t necessarily understand how hurtful it is to someone that’s black or to someone of other race rather than white, they just don’t understand.” Young woman wishes that the society would be more united and considerate to each other’s feelings. “I think we need to learn to listen to each other, to hear each other and really to love each other a lot more than we do”, she tells me. “It’s very hard, I think, to accomplish significant changes if we’re consistently bickering between each other.”
Lauren Marie Haywood is a young but wise woman who is not afraid of exploring different art mediums and creates to make positive changes in society by inviting us to learn more about the history and culture through her extraordinary pieces. On the 11 of May 2021, Lauren will have a new exhibition showcasing her sharpened skills and undeniable talent.
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