Lauren Henkin reminds us that nature is just as much a part of the city as the buildings and busy haze are with The Park, her latest exhibition at Foley Gallery. Using black and white photographs to focus on the details—the boulders, bends around the lake and little points of interest along the grounds that make up a walk in Central Park, a nap in the grass or your feet up against a tree, Henkin's photographs show the connection people have to the park when they give in to its wonder and force.
This Washington D.C. native's interest lies in American landscape photography, searching for the lines where change and preservation collide, while recognizing the differences and connections between the two in her work. Although the photographs are in the park, the buildings of the city always lingers on the edge of the frame as a reminder that this is a respite, almost dreamlike with the calm she presents, with the bodies on the ground and texture of tree trunks that have grown in this space.
You may love the city but Henkin explores that nature and remembering to slow down with it sometimes, are a major factor of enjoying it. There is beauty in the grass and the natural landscapes we pass by all too quickly. Henkin strives to help us slow down with the views—big or small.
Creating a dialogue between the viewer and the park, her work calls on displaying the intimate relationship we experience with our surroundings in nature. Following this project for five years, she shares the times when we are called out of these buildings, not to forget them but to visit another part of ourselves for a while, to linger in the shadows and roots of trees, when we remember that nature is always there and just as necessary as any other bond we hold dear.
The show runs through June 8.
Text by Amanda Everich.
Photographs by Lena Vassiliou