Lauren Schiller

The imagery in my work has focused on food and meaning. Food can nourish, it can be a beautiful subject matter to paint, and it can act as a social messenger. Two of my main themes are food & morality and food & identity. What we eat, how we eat, and when we eat can reveal social status, religious affiliation and cultural identity. We use food rituals to mark occasions, to connect with others, and to worship. These meanings are not inherent to food. They depend on social context and conventions.

In recent paintings, I have focused more broadly on rituals of religious and contemplative significance. I’m interested in how we use rituals to grapple with being human and how we create sacred spaces, both public and private, that help us to re-connect with our inner world as well as with each other. I paint from displays of sculptures, photographs, candles, foods, offering bowls and other objects chosen for their symbolic meaning, especially focusing on their groupings in the constructed environment of personal shrines and altars.