ROOTS and CULTURE, an exhibit of photography by Curtis McHardy
Opening May 3rd
Closing reception Sat June 14th 7pm-11pm
"In 1999, I returned to Trinidad and Tobago to live a fantasy most people only dream of – life on a Caribbean island close to the ocean and free from the trappings of a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
After a years of absorbing the cultural rhythm of island life, I felt very inspired to pick up my camera. For some unknown reason, an overwhelming compulsion came over me to photograph the roots of trees. I became fascinated with the visual characteristics of the tree roots and the way in which they function. This became the foundation for this extraordinary photographic journey.
I spent the next two years traveling between the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Photographing the cultural and spiritual parallels between nature and humanity by the juxtaposition of hair worn in locks and the organic structure of tree roots.
This body of work grew out of my spiritual journey towards a greater consciousness about God’s manifestation in nature. Roots and Culture explores the spiritual parallel between nature and humanity as it pertains to hair worn in locks. The spiritual parallel between hair in locks and tree roots became clear to me when I was able to grasp the simple expression, “One Love,” and its use within the Rastafarian culture to acknowledge Jah, an abbreviation of Jehovah.
Before photographing the roots of each tree, I asked the tree’s permission, and asked to be led to its most beautiful roots. I believe there is a strong spirituality in nature. If you respect and embrace it, a reciprocal reflection of this spiritual energy is returned.
As part of my discovery of these images, I now exist within a harmonious balance of knowing that all things physical and spiritual are connected and are part of one divine consciousness. I hope that it will increase awareness and understanding about the relationship, we all share with nature on a physical and spiritual level.
This photographic body of work was produced over a two-year period on the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. McHardy visually explores the spiritual and cultural parallels between nature and humanity by the juxtaposition of hair worn in locks and the organic structure of tree roots found in nature.
If you would like to know more about Roots and Culture, I’d be happy to answer any questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Please join us tonight from 6-8PM for Seaberg Multimania in the Small Gallery and 7-11PM for the opening reception of Oliver Smith's exhibit Absence of Need in Gallery 2 and Curtis McHardy photography in Gallery 1.
art Small Gallery opening: Seaberg Multimania
6:00PM - 8:00PM Price: free
Seaberg Multimania: Photos by Jeff Thies, including The Lineup, The Last Mime Supper, Santa's Visit, At The Big House, plus T-shirts, printed poems and more. All parts played by Ronnog and Steve Seaberg. Steve Seaberg creates an entire cast of characters, prisoners, crippled war veterans, cockroaches, terrorists, shriners and mimes.
Through May 24
art Opening: Oliver Smith Photography
7:00PM - 11:00PM Price: Free
In Gallery 2:
Photography by Oliver Smith
Absence of Need:Images of Urban Abandon
A business moves to a more profitable location. Logos and other identifying signs are removed but the architecture is instantly recognizable. A car dealership suddenly fails leaving behind acres of asphalt and empty showrooms. Remnants of a former need, these structures are now useless or impractical. The images presented are not historic sites or famous landmarks. They were built to serve a commercial purpose and are are altogether disposable. Still you drive by and think, wasn’t a muffler shop there, or a Shoney’s? Place and memory are connected. Even if it was a fast food restaurant you remember. These empty sites are part of an interior landscape that resist change.
Vacated properties become a ghost town. You look in a window and see discarded furniture, closed doors, a darkened room. People occupied this space on a daily basis and now they are gone. A building once occupied this corner and now it is gone. Memory traces are everywhere. Sun bleached signs, office documents scattered on the floor recall a purpose no longer required. They’ll stay where they are until future occupation, renovation or demolition. Then they will be slowly forgotten. All of the photographs were taken in the Atlanta and Decatur area during the past six months.