Lauren Shapiro’s Garden Portals, now available, was created as a site-specific ceramic modular sculpture for the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Sitting at the intersection of observation and preservation, Shapiro was interested in highlighting how Florida’s unique ecology supports the survival of numerous native and exotic plant species. For the work, Shapiro foraged native plants like corky stem passion flower, cycad, oak tree leaves, wild coffee, and cabbage palm alongside tropical plants like philodendron, tree ferns, anthuriums, and Alocasia. Creating silicone molds from these specimens, Shapiro led a series of community workshops where participants were instructed to press wet clay into the molds to create sculptural replicas. In her studio, Shapiro processed and fired the molded clay pieces, affixing them onto clay tiles she designed
As a Miami-based artist, Shapiro is aware of the growing climate pressures on tropical populations. Her work lends a voice to fostering awareness and solutions for our changing landscape. She utilizes a multi-step casting process in clay resulting in modular sculptures and installations that reference systems and visual orders found in nature. Her work draws inspiration from environmental research and data, ceramics and social practice. She is available for custom commissions. Bespoke casting can be created to provide unique sculptural textures for interior and exterior projects, such as friezes, door or column surrounds, and moldings.
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