TLJ Collab Projects
Nora Lowinsky & Haley Golden
TLJ Collab Projects Presents: Togetherness
American photographers, Nora Lowinsky and Haley Golden, worked on a four week project set by the The Lucky Jotter (TLJ), based on the concept of 'Togetherness'.
The artists were given free rein to explore the concept, and asked to produce a short series of work reflecting this exploration.
Q&A with Nora & Haley
TLJ: What was it like collaborating and working with another artist?
N: When our schedules aligned, it was fantastic to work with Haley. We had already done a show together and we are tight friends, so we came into this with a true understanding of our strengths as a duo. Of course, I do think there is a compromise when you work with another artist, but such a dynamic exists in all relationships. For that reason, there is a real life metaphor going on with this project, rather than it just being an art exercise. I am not sure how the other pairs of artists worked, but Haley and I both sacrificed our artist name. All images are created by both of us, no matter who shot it. It felt great to give up the ego and blur the lines of ownership in the name of togetherness.
TLJ: How did you both adapt to each other's style?
H: Nora primarily captures people and I focus on the inanimate world. Considering “Togetherness” without the presence of people was where we first had to compromise. We both decided to express the theme through objects and we liked this approach since it is a bit unexpected. We also wanted a consistent look and decided that the best way to do that would be through the same medium. We normally use different cameras — Nora uses 35mm and I have been shooting on a Sony A7R. I adore film so I had no problem adapting for the project. This made sense since film is a more romantic and nostalgic choice and paired well with “togetherness.” Eventually we knew it was important to go somewhere on neutral ground and experience a place and idea together. From that point, it all happened very naturally. We drove up into the Berkeley hills with Nora’s 35mm and I purchased a disposable camera, which was always my companion on family vacations as a kid. Unintentionally, the roses I had bought that day became the central focus of our project. We walked around together for a half day and stopped when a scene struck us, then took turns directing, and alternated shooting. We even switched off on cameras when my roll ran out. We wanted to let go of our identities as artists and tap into almost a childlike state, where you freely play and create with another person. Looking through the shots now, it’s even difficult for me to distinguish between mine and Nora’s shots. By letting go, we somehow managed to marry both of our styles.
TLJ: Did you find any difficulties with the project?
H: Time and scheduling was probably our biggest challenge. We have opposite schedules and it took us weeks to even find a day where we could shoot together. We tried going out with our cameras on our own time with different themes in mind, but the outcome didn’t quite have the overall effect we wanted. Ultimately we knew we would need to be physically present with one another to complete the project successfully. Kind of ironic since our theme was “togetherness.” I will say that over the weeks we considered all the different angles of this assignment. We explored what togetherness meant to both of us and many of the possible interpretations. We had no shortage of ideas, we just didn’t have ample time to organise and execute them. Many of them were elaborate and stylised and required much more production and resources than we had available to us in such a short amount of time. It would be interesting to revisit some of our project ideas and continue to work on them.
TLJ: What was your creative process for the collab?
N: Haley and I both were willing to experiment. We brainstormed a lot and honoured each of our ideas. The amount of ideas we came up with is hilarious actually, but each one led us to this place we found ourselves in the end. Giving up creative control is hard for both of us, I think, so working together really challenged us to give in to the flow of the exercise. We let it take its own shape. Neither of us could have predicted the outcome both conceptually and visually of our project. We trusted each other and trusted the unknown, so I think our ability as a pair to surrender was successful.
What are the 'TLJ Collab' Projects?
The 'TLJ Collab' projects are a chance for two TLJ featuring artists to work together on a short or long term project. Each pair is given a topic to focus on and they create between 2 - 12 pieces of work to answer to this concept.
Over the next year we're looking to work with local and international artists to produce a series of collaborative projects. Once a collection of these projects has come together, we will be looking to collaborate ourselves with galleries, other showcases and institutes to extend this feature.
Each pairing is arranged by the TLJ team and submissions for new artists are welcome!
If you would like to take part in our TLJ Collab projects, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.