September 2nd through October 2nd
Friday, September 2nd 6-9pm
Saturday, September 3rd 1pm
Newspace Center for Photography is pleased to announce an exhibition of new photographs titled Growthby Lauren Henkin. Lauren will also be showing images from three other bodies of work titled Remnants, Fieldnotes and The Lines Between Us.
For the last seven years I’ve struggled with slow-growing tumors in my abdomen that have led to two major surgeries in the last year. Sometime before this first surgery, I began photographing urban landscapes — trees, weeds, shrubs and other vegetation attempting to grow in unlikely places. At times invasive, at times reclaiming, at times succumbing, it was hard to know whether to champion these subjects or hone my garden shears. There is a fine line between what is deemed invasive and what is merely reclaiming a rightful environment. Who am I to judge, even when the domain is my own body? I was drawn to these urban growths because they persevere. They are survivors. Emerging through asphalt, suffocated by electrical wires, trapped between buildings, standing proud even in defeat, they are both accommodating and unyielding. I respect them.
I didn’t make a connection between what I was seeing on my ground glass and what was inside me until I visited the studio of a fellow artist and examined some x-rays she had hanging. Immediately, it made sense. I was connecting that which I had tracked for so long in my body with similar tales of survival in the external landscape. These humble subjects, ones I found beautiful, would enable me to let go of the fear and willingly accept these aggressive beings that will, most likely, be in me for the rest of my life. For me, it’s difficult to think of plants as invasive. But in these contexts, deeply embedded in the industrial urban fabric, they are just that. They are what don’t belong. I needed to change my perception of what is “invasive” — to find some kind of respect for anything that persists in growth, no matter what the environment. I fear that someday I will breed a tumor that isn’t benign and will eventually succeed in its attempt to overtake. For now, I am content to photograph growth I could favor, that of the natural reclaiming a small piece of its habitat.
Born in Washington, D.C. in 1974, award-winning, internationally shown photographer Lauren Henkin grew up in Maryland, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and now resides in Portland, Oregon.
Although much of her photographic knowledge is self-taught, Henkin has furthered her fine arts education by studying under photographers Chan Chao, Raymond Meeks, Tyler Boley and George Tice.
Henkin is a private educator, reviewer, frequent speaker, Photolucida board member, author of two books, and active member in the photographic community. Her work is widely collected by private collectors as well as institutions such as Southeast Museum of Photography, Beinecke Library, Yale University and Baker-Berry Library at Dartmouth College. Her work has been published in numerous journals on photography and the book arts including Light Leaks, Shots Magazine, Black+White Magazine, Diffusion Magazine, Flak Photo, Urbanautica, Landscape Stories, Parenthesis and The Washington Post. She is a Px3 multi-cateogry winner, Oregon Regional Arts & Culture Council grant winner, with other award nominations in both the 2010 Brink Emerging Artist and Contemporary Northwest Art Awards. In addition, she founded Photo Radio, an online audio program presenting interviews with curators, gallerists, artists, publishers, educators and other industry professionals.
You can listen to Lauren’s Audio tour of her exhibition at Newspace HERE.