Artist and jewellery maker Lauren Baker‘s dramatically adorned animal and human skulls are to be launched in an exhibition this week at Star Of Kings in Kings Cross. Her work gives life back to perished animals and is inspired by the power of nature, afterlife and mythological, magical creatures. The collection includes deer, fox, badger, horse and human skulls. The exhibition is to include photographic tributes to the origins of the animals including Duke, the wild 14 point antlered imperial stag who was the don of his turf in the Scottish highlands, and whose skull is now embellished with gold leaf and beads. Also included in Lauren’s collection is a 22ct gold plated horse skull embellished with studs and Swarovski crystals, and – not for the faint hearted – dramatic human skulls, brightly embellished, and inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead.
Reinventing the ancient arts of mosaic and gilding, Lauren Baker has won international plaudits for her ethical approach to taxidermy art. It’s a reemerging trend that’s proved a hit with the fashion industry in both London and New York, and has firmly established Lauren as an exciting, new British artist. Since launching her collection at the exclusive members’ club, Shoreditch House, in October 2011 Lauren brought her unique brand of mosaic art to La Petit Versailles and Blue Door Gallery in New York, and the Electric Blue Gallery in London.
Lauren’s commitment to sourcing skulls ethically means never buying skulls of deer that have been killed for their antlers. She maintains strong links with The Deer Society, which ensures deer flourish in harmony with their environment. Lauren explains, “Each skull has a different energy and personality and I name them accordingly. My aim is to give each deer an enchanted afterlife, restoring the skulls into something beautiful and treasured. Some are lavishly adorned with 24ct gold. Some have an amethyst crystal placed on the third eye chakra – associated with intuition and imagination. Others are gilded in gold and embellished like a flamboyant peacock. People are intrinsically drawn to skulls. They are sacred and alluring, reminding us of both the beauty of life and the certainty of death.”
After completing an intensive master’s course in Mosaico at Orsoni, Venice in 2011, Lauren was first commissioned by the Lovebox festival to create a sign for the VIP area, Lauren then collaborated with luxury shoe designer, Joanne Stoker, to create a mosaic shoe range. This collaboration was showcased during London Fashion Week and highlighted in the March 2012 issue of Vogue Italia. She then caught the eye of cutting edge fashion label; Velvet Johnstone and collaborated to create her first catwalk piece – a mosaic cape embellished with crystal, stingray fish leather and pearls.
You can find her skulls, priced from £220, stocked at East London boutique, 123 Bethnal Green Road, Stella Blunt vintage shop on Broadway Market, and Pelicans and Parrots in Dalston; priced from £220.
Lauren’s collection is at Star of Kings, Kings Cross, N1 0AX, 6.30-9.30pm on 10th May. Art available to buy/order at 10% off on this night only. RSVP to the Facebook event here or find out more: www.laurenbakermosaics.tumblr.com
See Lauren in our street style shots from London Fashion Week A/W 2012.