Lauren Doughty is a British / North Macedonian artist and illustrator based in London, after completing a BA (Hons) in Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. Her work draws attention to personal connection with the natural world; using colour, iconography and recurring motifs. Informed by everyday life, folklore, and a love of being outside, she uses drawing to communicate joy and empathy, highlighting relatable everyday moments and small pleasures – working from both memory and observation.
During my time at Hawkwood College, I caught up on research that I have been undertaking over the past few months — thinking about the natural world and human’s connection with nature. From reading books such as Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, to Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, I have been considering the ways that we can instil joy and wonder day to day in our lives, and appreciate the green world on our doorstep. When thinking about the climate crisis and the state of the living world, I believe that joy is an important feeling to hold on to, a hopeful place from which to solve the problems that we are facing.
“What else can you offer the earth, which has everything? What else can you give but something of yourself?”
— Robin Wall Kimmerer
I held these ideas in mind whilst walking through the grounds in and around Hawkwood College, simply taking in the environment and experiencing the benefits of taking meditative time in nature. Imagining ways that we can build a more reciprocal relationship with the natural world. This thinking and observation forms the basis of my watercolour paintings and illustrations — after walking I returned to my studio space in Hawkwood to reflect these feelings on paper, a visual expression of the benefits of connecting with the outdoors!
Full credit to Lauren Doughty, with thanks to the DCMS & Arts Council England for their funding.