On March 6th, 2021 Up 2 Something Studios, alongside contemporary artist Lauryn Lawrence presented an intimate and non-traditional gallery space that invited viewers further into Lawrence’s recent debut photographic series titled, Women I Know. As soon as viewers enter into the space they are greeted by a projector installation displaying the title of this emerging series that will later on showcase three different screenings of a campaign that grants each individual who comes into contact with this project to reflect on the importance of the women who surround them.
Women I Know is a photojournalist series that was designed to celebrate intersectional feminism and created to enable safe spaces for women to be vulnerable and empower one another. With this exhibit, Lawrence invites viewers further into this body of work and the processes that it encompasses. The second installation that greets viewers as they first enter titled, Constrained consists of a site-specific desk and the artist’s chair designed to place viewers in a similar environment in which this series was created. The desk sits in the corner alongside a palm vine-covered hanging lamp, further placing viewers into the space in which Lawrence was in when creating Women I Know. Accompanying this desk follows the artists personal notebooks that showcases the first notes that document the blueprint of this series and how it began, this archival piece allows viewers to be more immersed in the process and interact with the first copy of the book. This site-specific desk also serves as a metaphor representing the lack of space allowed for black women artists within the contemporary art world.
Following alongside the Constrained multi-media installation are five framed photographs from the series arranged in a way that represents film negatives sprawled across a contact sheet. This allowed each viewer to be up close and personal with each woman that has been featured in this book alongside a quote from their interview. The most interactive and highlighted piece throughout this exhibit was the, Women You Know installation. Lawrence is able to put viewers fully into the scene by placing the same backdrop and stool used to document the portraits within Women I Know.
The most memorable work was the Women I Know Campaign documentation that left viewers reflecting further on how they celebrate, acknowledge, and uplift the women in their lives. Overall the night was filled with laughs, tears, hugs, art, and good wine. Through this special collaboration with Up 2 Something Studios, women were able to be celebrated during Women’s History Month in a way never seen before.