Update – The Living Room Project

ziploc bags filled with photographs

I have been asked by a few participants how the process for making my new Living Room piece is going.

I have been sketching out how I want to go about creating the work. I have created a model as a starting point.

I am dissecting each photo I receive and separating them into sections. Each little piece of everyone’s living room is being put into labeled ziploc bags.


ziploc bags filled with photographs

After I collect enough of each piece I will sew them all together into a new living room!

Close up of living room model

I still need living room photos!

If you or anyone you know has not submitted photos, send them my way. lauren [at] laurenusher.com

A little different.

tiny tshirts made from found clothing

For the past 5 years or so I have been making work that has people’s faces printed onto it.  I dig it and it seems as though a great deal of other people do too.  I was surprised at my last go at the art making thing, as the result was quite different aesthetically, although the same in terms of concept.

tiny tshirts made from found clothing

***This piece, entitled Lost and Found, was inspired by all of the random clothing I find as I walk around the neighborhoods in Berkeley.  I always wonder who used to wear the clothes and who might wear them next.  Always feeding to my ever-thoughts about the strangers I will never meet.***

Perhaps my style is changing…

I don’t know yet how I feel about hanging this piece next to the other work I’ve completed for the Significant Stranger Project.  Will it work with Mr. Rogers or what about Mary?  Would they compliment each other?  Something I need to consider.  Most of my work doesn’t become complete until it is installed with the rest of its brothers and sisters in a large space.  There seems to be a conversation that happens when all the work is in one space together.  I’m busy trying to finish up this project to make sure that happens in the near future.  I’d like to see what the work has to say to itself.

Oh won’t you be my neighbor

Mr. Rogers printed on Caltrans photographs

So, first and foremost I would like say that I am a total lame brain. I just received an awesome comment in my “comment box” here on my blog, but accidentally deleted it. If you are out there, person who commented on the Feminist bras and wanted to know if there was still time to be involved in the project—YES! I am still looking for some wonderful volunteers. Either leave me another comment, and this time I will make sure I don’t delete it. Or, if you don’t trust me, just send it via email to lauren@laurenusher.com and I will email you back with my address and bit more information on what I need from you.

So sorry that I totally approved your comment and then somehow deleted it. WordPress can trick you sometimes if you aren’t careful.

On to another more happy subject. I am happy to say that I have finished another piece for my Significant Stranger Project. I have been painting images from found photographs onto old photographs from CalTrans. Anyway, I was struggling with the look of it and I didn’t feel like it was really delivering the concept I wanted it to. So I sat with it a while and came up with this.

Mr. Rogers printed on Caltrans photographs

Certainly a whole new idea. But, I am much more fond of it and believe it delivers a much stronger concept and, let’s face it, it is much cooler looking.

I grew up watching Mr. Rogers and have always had a strange relationship with the idea of neighbors. My whole artistic endeavor is about getting people more involved with one another, but I have to say, I still want a tall fence around my backyard. Does that make me a hypocrite–maybe so. But, I’m sure there are more people out there who feel the same. I appreciate privacy and believe it is a right, but I do think that we should attempt to cross our own boundaries once in a while and get to know those around us.

Elizabeth from Chowchilla, CA

a detail of a woman's portrait
a portrait of a woman drawn on letters she's written
Elizabeth from Chowchilla

Here’s is my most recent work for the Significant Stranger Project. I only know Elizabeth through the letters we have been writing back and forth for the last two years or so. When I sat down to think of what material to use to draw her face I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate than the letters themselves. And because I only know Elizabeth through text I decided to use letters as the means to show her to the rest of the world.

a detail of a woman's portrait


Christine From San Francisco

a woman's portrait is drawn with charcoal on a newspaper
a woman's portrait is drawn with charcoal on a newspaper
Christine from San Francisco

Christine was nice enough to send me a portrait of herself along with a newspaper from the town she lives in. I ended up wanting to make her portrait larger than life, so I purchased a few newspapers of my own from San Francisco in order to sew 3 front pages from various days together.

I am finding that I’m more and more attracted to the colors black, white, and gray. I can’t say why yet, but some day I will figure it out. One reason may be that I want Christine to appear to be part of the newspaper. I’m trying to conceptually show that all persons are connected to all events. These newspapers are from the town Christine lives in. A viewer is getting a small peak into the life of a woman they have never, and most likely will never meet.