Galerie P. in Ostend bids farewell to its current location on Madridstraat with the exhibition “Goddesses”. In this exhibition, artists Bart Ramakers, Harry Fayt and Ulrike Bolenz, explore the eternal feminine.
Throughout history, artists have drawn inspiration from the beauty, power, mystery, and complexity of women. From the Paleolithic grotesque fertility goddesses to the idealized Greek and Roman Aphrodites and Venuses, from Botticelli’s paintings where women are celebrated as embodiments of beauty and purity, to 19th-century works featuring perverse femme fatales (Félicien Rops), and contemporary artworks breaking traditional stereotypes and creating new narratives; all of these works reflect the ever-evolving diversity of womanhood. Gender identity, the role of women in society, and the impact of beauty ideals are integral to this exploration.
Bart Ramakers: deeper values and narratives
Creator of photographic scenes, Bart Ramakers portrays women in various forms in this exhibition, at times almost animalistic and sensuous, at times idealized and “divinized,” at times promiscuous and licentious. Additionally, there is room for parodying the traditional ideal image of women. In his latest work, the most feminine being is a man, as shown in the project “UOMO,” a collaboration with Jaouad Alloul.
Harry Fayt: underwater exploration of feminine beauty
Master photographer Harry Fayt brings the eternal feminine essence to life through his underwater photography. His images feature an intriguing interplay of light and shadow, highlighting the sublime forms of women. Fayt’s photographs immerse us in a magical world where women reveal both their vulnerability and strength. His work reminds us that femininity can be both earthly and mysterious, enchanting even.
Ulrike Bolenz: the feminine as a powerful creative source
Ulrike Bolenz’s works are poetic stories where nature and the feminine meet. Her layered works, often built around a photograph encased in plexiglass, showcase a deep understanding of cosmic harmonies in nature. Bolenz portrays the feminine as a creative force connected to the origins of our existence. Her colorful and vibrant works evoke a sense of vitality and spirituality.
A fusion of essences
This exhibition offers a wide range of works that invite us to reflect on the role and meaning of women in our society and universe. It shows that female identity is not unambiguous, but rather a complex amalgamation of different forms and meanings.
While each artist has their own approach to the eternal feminine, there is a common thread that connects them. The exhibition “Goddesses” invites visitors to lose themselves in the enchanting world of the eternal feminine. Ulrike Bolenz, Harry Fayt, and Bart Ramakers, along with Goethe’s concept of Das Ewig Weibliche, demonstrate the inseparable connection between women, nature, and the divine. They invite us to be enchanted by the eternal and mysterious essence of women in all their beautiful forms.
8400 Oostende, Belgium
The exhibition Goddesses runs from November 25th to December 24th, 2023, every Friday to Sunday from 2 pm to 6 pm. From February 3rd, 2024, Galerie P. can be found at Kursaal-Oosthelling 10, also in Ostend.