Gallery Route One Opens Pair of Personal Photography Shows

West Marin landmark Gallery Route One–which is open to in-person visitors as well as online viewers–hosts two photography projects in November and December, beginning with a virtual reception on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Showing in Gallery Route One’s center gallery, Shannon O’Neill-Creighton’s photography and interview exhibit, “Queer Belonging,” shares the stories of two dozen LGBTQ+ individuals from California and the Southeastern US who are exploring the intersection of sexuality, place and belonging.

“Queer Belonging” features both photographic portraits and environmental images of subjects such as “Leigh & Beth,” who work on a farm in Santa Cruz (pictured). Additionally, a QR code-accessed audio recording accompanies each portrait, by which viewers can hear the subject’s voice, thoughts and stories while simultaneously hearing the sounds of their actual environment.

“My artwork is rooted in relationship between land and people, mapping a felt-sense of belonging and intimacy with personal landscapes, O’Neill-Creighton writes in the artist statement. “As a queer photographer positioned in the patriarchal, white canon of landscape photography I intend to queer the landscape, bringing forth the subtle, unseen, unusual, and underrepresented; subverting the normative and evolving our sight. Through my art I ask the questions: How does the social-geography and history of place lend itself to intimacy with our surroundings? How do ours and others’ personal freedoms – or lack thereof – literally and figuratively change the land?”

Opening alongside “Queer Belonging,” Gallery Route One member artist Austin Buckingham presents “Amor Fati–Silks,” in the annex gallery. The exhibit–titled after the ancient principle of amor fati, or the love of one’s fate–features several black-and-white photographic images printed on silk.

The images depict family memories of the past, the kind of images one finds in a grandparent’s photo album. Buckingham photographed each assemblage on film, then printed the photographs onto garments such as a woman’s slip or a man’s shirt. The exhibition also includes an interactive dimension, as slight air gusts will cause the suspended silk panels to gently move. Visitors can walk among the panels to become immersed in the exhibit, symbolically entering into the memories the subjects depicted.

“I look back on those tender young years, perhaps with some wisdom from the vantage point of my now 65 years of living,” Buckingham writes in the artist statement. “In the photographed moments, the seeds of our future were planted. We did not know what was in front of us and what we might endure.”

Both exhibits are on display Saturday, Oct. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 5, at Gallery Route One, 11101 Highway One, Point Reyes Station. Virtual Reception on Saturday, Oct. 30, 3pm. The gallery is open to visitors Thursday to Monday, 11am–5pm. Mask and social distancing required in the gallery. The exhibits will soon be viewable online at galleryrouteone.org.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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