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.
Art 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.
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 www.rainewalker.com
“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 her
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