E.J.Laven’s work includes painting, sculpture and ceramics and has, at its core, a deep-rooted love of coastal landscapes and a fascination with weathered remnants of the past which hold unfathomable secrets as to their purpose, meaning or individual histories.
Growing up in Kent, amongst Whitstable’s now long-vanished sail lofts and semi-derelict boat yards had a profound effect on her life and her work, as did the stretches of deserted beaches, windswept marshes and muddy creeks around Faversham and Swale and the contrastingly chalky coastline of the Isle of Thanet.
E.J.Laven has always taken great pleasure from making use of found objects and gathering materials from her local environment. She first dug and fired her own clay from the beach outside the old railway carriage in which she was living, whilst a student, on the Sussex Coast.
Her ceramics are intended to hold and display the souvenirs walkers may gather, whilst also reflecting aspects of the landscapes in which they are found. The clay is hand mixed, incorporating oxides and locally found clays and sand so that, like the geology of stone, the visible colour and texture arises from the composition of the material itself as opposed to having a ‘skin-like’ glaze applied to the surface.
E.J.Laven now lives with her family on the Isle of Thanet. Whenever possible, she seeks out and relishes exploring desolate stretches of coastline and roaming the precious boat yards that it seems, time might have forgotten, tucked away further up the coast.