I’m Lauren Saunders, the Learning and Talent Development Manager at Absolutely Cultured.
It’s my job to strategically develop, coordinate and deliver creative talent development and learning programmes, so that everyone has the opportunity to discover their creativity, build upon it and – should they wish – turn it into a living.
I moved to Hull from London in 2012 after completing my Foundation Degree (Theatre Design) with Middlesex Uni, and soon found myself using my creative skills to deliver meaningful activities in private residential homes and NHS acute mental health wards.
Using my own mental health lived experiences, I then became a teacher within the NHS Humber Recovery College, using education (and art, of course) to help people make sense of and navigate through their own personal recovery journeys. During this time, I also went back to Uni after a six-year gap year and did a top-up BA (Hons) Fine Art at the Hull School of Art and Design – and I’m back there now doing a MA in Creative Practice to help further develop and deepen my creative practice.
I’m proud of what I’ve achieved as a freelancer (which includes The Critical Fish, an arts journal and collective that I co-founded and continue to co-direct), I’m proud of what every single person I have supported over the years has achieved for themselves, and I’m proud of my plants and animals!
I honestly spend most of my disposable income on plants. I have an ever-growing collection of house plants, and I spend most of the year organically growing food and flowers in the tiniest gardens you have ever seen. Nothing makes me feel more at peace than digging through the dirt.