Larain Briggs

Harwich, Essex

Larain was born in 1960 in Elm Park Essex. Her parents originated from London's Eastend and she is the youngest of three sisters.  The family moved to Kent when she was 2 years old. She showed an early interest in art, drawing and copying Van Gogh and Dali at the age of 7 and painting with oils supplied by her parents by the age of 9.  By the age of 14, she had a painting exhibited in a gallery window for sale. 
In her twenties, Larain went to study with a local artist, Nick Bristow, RA, at an adult education centre,  in Gravesend, Kent.  This gave her a foundation of techniques and discipline that she would value for the rest of her life.
She then took her Foundation Course in Art at Maidstone Art College, and at 27 moved to London to study at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL for three years, obtaining BA(Hons) in Fine Art, Painting.
Larain was also interested in psychology and the unconscious from an early age, and when her degree was completed she formally studied the subject.  At first whilst at Camberwell College, she concentrated on Sigmund Freud. She later transferred her attention to Carl Jung.  This, together with the inspiration of the surrealist artists, were to become major influences in her work.  In fact, it became a mission to achieve an understanding of her own psyche and of others through her studies and her art.  A spiritual journey.
At 31 Larain had a son.  Four years after that she Gained a place at Goldsmiths, University of London, she received her Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Art and Design, and then taught in secondary schools for the next decade.  During this time she also studied Art Therapy at the Institute for Art in therapy and Education.
She moved from London to the east coast in the year 2000.  There, she made painting her main occupation, teaching part-time. After a period of time, she became a full-time artist spending most days in the studio and exhibiting her work both in the UK and internationally.
Larain’s art was first recognized on leaving Camberwell when Sweet Waters Gallery exhibited her work at the Islington Business Design Centre. While she continues to exhibit in the UK, in London and East Anglia, she has exhibited in Bulgaria, Madrid, Brussels, and Milan. Her work is collected worldwide.
Larain works through painting, digital art, assemblage, and installation, employing various strategies which access the animus, the shadow, and the collective unconscious.  Through creative expression, she attempts to externalize the inner reality of her psyche. The paintings act as a mirror, the artist’s portrayal of the soul and the inner workings of the mind, resonating within the viewer. By transcending persona to connect with the true self there is a reconciliation of internal conflict.
Her work is full of symbolism and archetypes. Thoughts are formed into imagery, in a similar manner to the process of the Surrealists, “automatism”.  These images equivocate between figurative content and abstract form. However ambiguous or enigmatic the conceptualization may seem the inner struggle is made apparent and resolved. Experimental use of media and found objects are employed as a means to express automatic or unconscious influences on perception and memory. 
The artist’s objective is to suppress any intentional process until the last moments when aesthetic considerations are then implemented in an attempt to create the ‘sublime’ as defined by Kant.
Her competence and proficiency in manipulating her chosen media is extraordinary and renders the psychological influence in her work profoundly apparent.