Feminine Architecture, a collaboration between self-taught California-based artists Haley Golden and Nora Lowinsky, will open in the upstairs gallery of Alchemy Bottle Shop (3256 Grand Ave, Oakland) on January 20, 2017 from 5-7 PM, on view until early march. The photography exhibition is a testament to their friendship and its role in nurturing the growth of their individual and complementary vision since meeting two years ago. It is more broadly a celebration of women supporting one another in the arts with the hope of building a community for female voices.
The displayed works are linked by a subtle but unmistakable sisterhood, yet each artist’s distinct style shines through. Haley’s selections reveal a sensitivity to the spontaneous theater of her surroundings. She finds her images waiting pre-composed out in the world, which gives them the feeling of being both surprising and inevitable. Her urban photographs uncover the many dramas, sometimes felt but rarely seen, of the visual elements that scaffold urban life. Plants achieve an almost human luster. She captures them detached and serene as a classical painting or flustered and fabulous like a sidewalk fashionista. Her landscapes are cinematic and spacious, but never absent of the humor that underlies her entire body of work. Through them all, her images convey a striking range of emotion in the world of the inanimate.
In harmony with Haley’s abstractions, Nora’s chosen works explores the divine feminine through portraiture. She intuitively experiments with expired 35mm color film and hand prints her own silver gelatin black and white photographs traditionally in the darkroom. Her portraits tell an unfolding love story with analog photography and a journey of self-exploration and catharsis through the female muse. Nora’s use of unpredictable analog materials as well as her improvisation with her subjects in open environments reveal an act of surrender to the universe. Her art direction is spontaneous by design, revealing ethereal representations of feminine energy to address the collective unconscious of the subliminal woman.
The artists consider their mission of supporting female creativity and comradery especially relevant in the dawn of Trumpism, a time marked by uncertainty and disturbing misogyny. Although the opening event was scheduled months ago when the reality of a Trump presidency was unthinkable, its coincidence with the inauguration weekend is powerful. Feminine Architecture urges us to acknowledge the female artist’s prescient instinctual voice and vision.