"I have been painting since I can remember. Forever probably."
Lauren Cassar is the talented artist & creator behind Mirador, a stunning offering of Australian made scarves & sarongs. Each design is wonderfully created with wild and gleeful abandon. Within each large scale print, painterly strokes of colour collide in the most delightful ways.
Lauren's latest collection is titled Clay, and serves as a dedication to the gifts the land provides; to the pots we make with the earth and the flowers we pick to put in them. To celebrate this beautiful new range, we spoke to Lauren about her creative processes and all things Mirador...
We would love to know your story! What is your background and when did painting start to steal your attention?
I grew up in Tasmania. I spent a lot of time in the bush, or on the water on our small yellow yacht named Shiloh. My mother nurtured my creativity, and helped me to slow down and look at the beauty around me –– mainly in the bush, or in a view, or in a flower (she has a green thumb), always pointing at something that caught her eye, desiring it in immense detail. It’s a precious quality of hers, the ability to see things with such curiosity. I have been painting since I can remember. Forever probably. I am in my final year of my masters in Art Therapy, so I will be able to share the magic of creativity and expression with anyone in need and especially to help heal trauma in others.
When did you start Mirador and what was your motivation behind doing so?
I started Mirador 3 years ago now. Sarongs were on my mind ever since I moved to live in a small town by the beach. I noticed they hadn’t moved from traditional aesthetics in the western world since they were introduced in the 1940's. This frustrated me, as we have seen swimwear refined year after year but we have nothing to wear alongside them... I’m not a fan of the kaftan! The sun is harsh anywhere you go these days, so protection is key, and Mirador hopefully provides a beautiful practicality to the everyday of my customers lives.
How do you think Mirador should be best enjoyed?
A Mirador sarong is a hardy piece. Get it salty, wrap it over your shoulders straight after a dip in the almighty ocean. A Mirador silk scarf, tie it quickly around your neck, a contribution, a certain thoughtfulness to your Sunday outfit of jeans and a tee.
Can you tell us a little about how Mirador comes together & the clever people that you work with?
I paint the artwork myself and collaborate with nature for inspiration. My beautiful friend Victoria Zschommler shoots my campaign pictures, and helps me with creative direction almost every step of the way. She has a magical eye and I love her. My beautiful talented sister sewes all of my pieces from the latest collection. Yasmine of anyonegirl and her dear friend & photographer Greta van der Star are my go to for creative support, community and breathtaking content. My long time girlfriends Ella and Hilary inspire me with feminist discussions and a lot of love. We often collaborate in taking pictures with Mirador pieces while spending time together.
Where do you work from?
I’m currently living in Melbourne, a temporary home for me as study ties me here. I prefer a view in front of me, the bush, ocean, not many houses. My studio is a large spare room in my home, it’s a light filled space. I paint next to a beautiful window that looks out to a large grey gum, and am in a quiet part of town, so I could almost be anywhere.
Tell us about the sorts of textures and colours you like to let into your studio or home?
I have a collection of dear found pieces, fallen flowers, gum leaves. I am lucky to own two Marta Buda bags that are a dream to hang. I often admire the intricacies of her work. I love how light shines through the weave. A beautiful bunch of handmade French paper sits on a shelf to paint on. I like to cover my computer screen with a sarong when I am painting and listen to music. Linen sheets. Raffia placemats.
What was the most recent thing that inspired you?
I have recently arrived home from two weeks camping around my home island of Tasmania. When looking up, a canopy of trees that framed the night sky at one particular camping spot in the Tarkine, a very special conservation area on the west of Tasmania, really brought me to the present, and the splendour of the view above took my breath away. I painted this scene and will probably turn it into a textile of some kind.
In your down time, or on the weekends, how do you like to relax?
I love to go to a farmers market and create a healthy and wholesome breakfast with local ingredients with my partner Will. I’ll lay in our sunny lounge room and read a book that is non Mirador or art therapy related. I am deep within the pages of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. Her words transport me to India, so I feel as if I am on holiday, even for five minutes.
What are your plans for 2018?
I hope to be present for my entire final year of study, to let go of exterior distractions and finish my masters! I also have my first solo show of paintings coming up very soon. A beautiful year of learning ahead.