Achelois Menedeia

February 2020
Written By: 
Grand Strand Magazine Staff

Sara Golish - Oil and gold leaf on wood panel, 78’’x 34’’

Opening in mid-January at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Birds of Paradise, an exhibition by Sara Golish, questions the symbolism of conventional oil portraiture by using a lens of eco-feminism. Golish depicts traditionally oppressed bodies with both grace and dignity in this collection of art. She breathes new life into traditional early modern portraiture, a medium often used to present affluent women in ways that spoke less to their own identities and more to men’s accumulation of status and wealth. If women of color appeared at all, they were rendered as exotic curiosities or servants.

Birds of Paradise is not only about liberating the subject from a patriarchal grasp, but also about liberating the techniques, forms and materials from their historic symbolism and usage. These portraits are filled with ethnically diverse women in bold colors, as well as exotic plants and birds that symbolize fortitude of spirit and strength through adversity. Golish is based in Toronto and specializes in figurative painting, drawing and sculpture. The exhibit will run through April 11.

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Photograph courtesy of the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum