Lauren Levato

Minor Deity
butterfly wings, mushroom, cinnamon, juniper
24 x 12.5 x 3 in.

“I use real insects in my art. I am fascinated with insects and arachnids, an immense animal group with intricate social structures and routines. This fascination, combined with my background in language arts and communication, led me to explore the different and complex methods of interaction between humans and nature.

I want people to rediscover the power and protection that resides in symbols and codes and in the act of codifying and decoding. Much like insects and plants, humans use codes and signals to convey complex thoughts and messages. Mating, navigation, locating food, calling for help, or signaling warnings.

Researching and investigating ancient codes and languages has influenced my thinking and approach to this work. I am interested in The Druidic Tree Alphabet, a language comprised of leaves; Nüshu, the secret Chinese women’s script; the Inca Khipu method of record keeping, a system of knots; as well as my own code. My personal code evolved out of a traumatic time in my own life and involves insects, plants, poetry, myth, and metaphor.”

Visual artist, writer, and feminist activist Lauren Levato is the author of two books, most recently at the hotel andromeda (Dancing Girl Press 2007) with Kristy Bowen, a limited edition text & image collaboration. She is an award winning poet and editor. Her work has appeared in several feminist publications and is used a cover art for books. She exhibits her visual art internationally and works as the gallery director for the Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago.

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© Lauren Levato