Friday, April 1, 2011

Art exhibition to raise funds for Christchurch, New Zealand

Exhibition and sale to benefit Christchurch earthquake relief fund

“Trip,” an exhibition of work by Lydia Katharine Boehr, a senior majoring in photography at the Kansas City Art Institute, will open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. April 23 at the Locust Street Studios, 18th and Locust streets, Kansas City, Mo. Proceeds from the sale of work will be donated to the Christchurch, New Zealand, earthquake relief fund. A 6.3 earthquake struck Feb. 22 in Christchurch, where Boeher had spent the fall semester as a study-abroad student. The exhibition is Boehr’s senior thesis project.

“I have many friends living in Christchurch and the surrounding area, and while fortunately none of them have lost their lives, many others have,” Boehr said. “The earthquake destroyed the city, which was New Zealand’s second largest, and many lost their homes and jobs. I have a deep connection with this country and want to raise awareness of what they’re going through.”

The photographs and video to be seen in her exhibition were all shot in New Zealand. “I wanted to create an experience similar to the one I had while I was in New Zealand,” she said.

“There will be pieces for sale at the exhibition and I can print more images on request,” Boehr said. “Thirty percent of all proceeds from any piece in the series sold will be donated, and I will be taking cash donations and pledges at the exhibition. Any other contributions or offers of help would also be welcome.”

Below is Boehr’s “artist statement”:

“I am an artist working with images, video, sound and installation. I am deeply interested in perception, attempting to explore through my work the ideas of intuition, awareness, senses, aesthetics and the ability of the camera to capture more than what every eye sees. Any interactions, subtleties or environments in my work are based around my perception and my attempt to allow people to be aware of the ‘feel’ I'm trying to portray. Many themes appear in my work, such as sexuality, surrealism, travel, lifestyle and constructed narratives. I work with installation to create an experience for the viewer.

“I often draw on personal experience as a source of inspiration. The people in my life and I, myself, often appear in my images, both those that are based on literal events and those that are fabricated. I am constantly searching for new ways to share my perceptions with the viewer, particularly by experimenting with installation beyond the traditional photo-in-frame. Tapping in to my own conceptions of what goes on in the world around me creates an honest yet surreal dialogue in my work.

In my series 'TRIP: images still & moving of time spent in a small island nation,' I am showcasing the images and video shot while I studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand. I use the word 'trip' with the intention of implying two meanings: one, a journey or voyage, and two, a stimulating or exciting experience that is often associated with the use of hallucinogenic drugs. Through the use of light, sound and installation, I hope to create an experience that envelopes the viewer similar to what I experienced while abroad. Living in this country was an unreal experience for me, and I want to communicate that to the viewer by creating an equally unreal environment.”

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