Torquay artist paints her own path
Lauren Danger doesn’t have time to waste being afraid.
Courage embodies the Torquay-based abstract artist’s work, from her pursuit of personal fulfilment to her use of colour and choice of subject.
She chalks it down to life experience.
“A lot of it is going, you know what, so what if it doesn’t work out,” she said.
“It’s just a bit of canvas, we can start again. No one has to see it.
“I feel like there’s a bigger fear in not doing it, than doing it.”
Danger initially left her creative exploits behind when she finished high school, instead seeking out work she felt was more “serious”.
She didn’t return for ten years.
Approaching 30 and feeling that something was missing, she turned to health coaching where she learned about the intersections between creativity, health and happiness, paving her own return to art.
“I learnt a lot about myself,” she said.
“I never ever considered the thing that I used to find so fulfilling was the thing that was making me feel not well.
“I didn’t look back after that.”
Danger began selling her work online in 2015 and in 2017 while pregnant with her son, she started putting measures in place to allow herself to focus on her creative work.
Then in 2019, “everything went berserk” after her artwork was featured on popular renovation reality series, The Block.
“I don’t want to waste any more time. I don’t want to waste another ten years from that gap I had between school and getting back into painting,” she said.
“I don’t want to go through that again.
“I know what you’re facing if you don’t go through with things.”
And Danger’s quest for joy has continued to influence her choices.
Despite the ongoing popularity of the style of abstract paintings showcased on The Block, Danger’s desire to do what she loves encouraged her to change direction.
“The cloud artworks were so popular and I [knew I] could get stuck doing that and feeling like I should do that because that’s what people came to me for.
“I thought, you know what, I’m not here to do that.
“What I was doing was working, which was doing something I felt genuinely interested in and genuinely inspired to do.
“I don’t want to regret anything, so I just do what I love.”
Danger’s more recent work has focused on expressing the beaches, hinterland and skies of the Great Ocean Road and the Otway Ranges.
Her pieces are full of quirky details and colour inspired by her son, Archer’s, toys and clothing.
“I just like seeing what happens when you put colours together,” Danger said.
“It’s such a child-like quality, I feel.
“I used to always be like that, and I don’t think it’s ever left me.”
She said her preoccupation with the coastal landscapes of the Great Ocean Road and the valleys of the Otways Ranges is twofold.
“I feel like a lot of it [is] me trying to look for meaning and connection to my late father,” Danger said.
“When I think of the Otways, I think of dad. He lived and breathed it.”
“He was always working but if we ever had downtime, we would do a lap of the Great Ocean Road. So that’s where the Great Ocean Road fits in.”
“But the other perspective is…you just see some of these bluffs and they are so unique to this area.
“There are no dull moments here.
“It just is so beautiful. We’re so lucky where we live and it’s hard not to be inspired by it.”
Danger said that she had been less productive over the last couple of years as her son, now 5, continues to grow and she prioritises the time she spends with him.
However, another change in creative direction may be on the horizon.
“I’m off to dabble,” Danger said.
“Who knows what will happen. I might make an absolute fool of myself, but that’s the fun of it.”
Check out Danger’s work at laurendanger.com