Lauren Hamilton is an Irish, contemporary, visual artist, who works with photography and moving image. Her practice is concerned with the visual storytelling of hidden narratives, often drawing upon psychological theories that explore issues of unremembered memories, femininity and identity. Lauren aspires to invite the viewer into metaphysical worlds created through the lens, asking them to experience these worlds intimately. My photography gives me access to people and places both physically and emotionally, so for me it is important that I have a responsible and reflective approach. 

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The word ‘Hystera’ translates from Greek to ‘womb’ or ‘uterus’. The term Hysteria is derived from Hystera and has been subsumed by it. Hysteria was associated with the theory of the wandering womb which was introduced by Hippocrates. This theory claimed that the uterus was a living creature that would, when unsatisfied, detach itself from its rightful place and ‘wander’ around the female body—this was thought to be the root cause of female hysteria. Drawing on the cultural history of the ‘hysterical woman’ and ancient Greek medicine and mythology surrounding the womb, Hystera reflects on the experience of living with endometriosis and the experience of receiving a diagnosis. Endometriosis is a long-term, chronic condition, in which tissue similar to the uterine lining, ‘wanders’ outside the uterus. This project takes a deeply personal, yet universally relatable, approach to exploring this condition.

Between Breaths

Between Breaths is situated in a hazy landscape where the boundaries between the waking world and dreamworld blur, creating a space to explore the depths of our psyche. Drawing on Jungian theory, this project is grounded in the concept of individuation.

At the core of this journey lies the confrontation of the shadow—the darker aspects of ourselves that we hide, reject and disown. Jung also introduces the archetypes of the anima and animus, which represent the unconscious feminine and masculine aspects of our psyche. After the confrontation of the shadow, integration of the anima and animus becomes possible, where both the light and dark aspects of our identity merge.

Between Breaths invites the viewer to explore our shadow selves, facilitating the process of inner acceptance and awareness. The project comprises two components—animated stills and print, with a colour palette that symbolically differentiates them as light and dark.