Lauren Conway is an artist who works through drawing to explore the experiences of second level education in Ireland. Group exhibitions include High Heart: IADT Rollover shows (2021), Pallas Projects + Studios, cruxx.project, Rathmichael Ring Fort (2021), and Under the seams runs the pain (2020), Ex Club x Ex Lab, Helsinki. She has given readings at the Dublin Art Book Fair, The Royal Irish Academy and was shortlisted for the Science Gallery Dublin’s Rapid Residency Award in 2020. Her writings have been published in Bloomers Art Magazine, RHA Young Art Writers Zine, and in the online programme for cruxproject.net.
Through the process of drawing Conway seeks to tease out a commonality between collective memories of being a participant within public educational spaces. This body of work, A Great Public Meeting explores empty educational spaces that question and challenge the aspirational promises put forward by the state through formal education. However, once students, teachers and communities fill these spaces the promises made are not always delivered upon and the fallibility of the modernist architectural ideals become apparent. The work opens up a space for further connections to be made beyond the educational, that hold to account long overdue commitments to care on social and physical levels. Through the use of archival materials, documentation from site visits, and found images from her teenage years, Conway explores tensions between the empty school sites and the dense, awkward dancefloors of teenage discos.