Lauren Raine: Artist-In-Residence 2014-2015

1837970065_RaineL05_web“Myth comes alive as it enters the cauldron of evolution, itself drawing energy from the storytellers who shape it.”  — Elizabeth Fuller, The Independent Eye Theatre

I’ve always seen masks as “vessels for our stories”, and I’ve always derived inspiration from mythology, collective Story. When I went to Bali to study temple mask traditions I was privileged to produce collaborative masks with Ida Bagus Anom and other Balinese master mask makers while there. In 1999 I created 30 multicultural Masks of the Goddess for the Spiral Dance with Reclaiming in San Francisco. As I researched mythologies of the “Feminine Faces of Diety” from around the world, I found myself in a grand conversation that grew as dancers, storytellers, and ritualists used the masks, filling them with energy and new contemporary meaning. The collection traveled throughout the U.S. for 10 years, and in 2008 became the subject of a book.

DCFC0004.JPGArt process can mean many things, and for me art making is most often a spiritual practice. I have made many devotional works I call “Earth Shrines”, part of my lifelong conversation with the numinous intelligence in nature. My desire to explore that experience with others became a new series of masks called “Numina: Masks for the Elemental Powers” which I offer to communities to use in theatre and ritual.
RaineGaia Shrine

Last, because I live in the Southwest, I’ve been inspired by the presence of the native American Creatrix, Spider Woman. I believe this ubiquitous myth has important meaning for our time. In 2007 I won an Aldon Dow fellowship to pursue this theme as a community arts project, and in 2009 pursued my project as resident artist at the Henry Luce Center for the Arts at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.  — Lauren Raine MFA

“Like the ‘Spider Woman’ herself, Lauren has become one with the work of her hands. It is unusual to find a talented artist who is also sublimely articulate about herimage 1
inspiration, her study, and her realization.” — Sarah Gorman, The Creative Spirit Center

“Lauren probes the limits of whatever medium she addresses. The questions her art
raises are deeply significant questions.” — Robin Larsen, The Center For Symbolic Studies

Numina - "Masks for the Elemental Powers"

“Making a mask can be a way to find a face for what is sensed, elemental, invisible and sacred . . .” Lauren Raine, CHS Artist-in-Residence   Numina – “Masks for the Elemental Powers” 2014 from laurenraine  

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The Equinox and Persephone

The Big Thaw starts with a trickle water running through silence as innocuous as breath, a slight relaxation at corners of the mouth. Just when winter has become a habit, an old coat the sun peels off with a touch. Your foot leaves a signature in new mud, shiny as a new skin or fresh, primed canvas. You notice a blade of grass: green, defiantly green. Inhale, you take your coat off a crocus opens in the blue iris of someone’s glance.  —Lauren Raine   Somehow the Spring Equinox has arrived, this winter, as other winters, has been survived, the …

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Winter Solstice 2015: Frau Holle

by Artist-in-Residence, Lauren Raine One of the Goddesses that reflects the flux of seasonal cycles, and belongs truly to winter, is the Nordic Frau Holle. Holle has very ancient origins indeed, and may have begun as a pre-Christian Weaver Goddess, a Spinner of fate. Mother Holle is very much associated with Yule, and with the warmth of hearth and home, especially in the winter.   Also known as Holda or Hulda, she is a manifestation of the Pagan triple goddess, embodying the passages of life through birth to death, in both light and dark. In some early myths, she is “the ash girl”, her face half …

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