This weekend is the launch of The Relative Project: Zimbabwe at ZimArt’s Rice Lake Gallery, featuring an exhibition of the work of well-known Peterborough photographer Wayne Eardley. The images are part of his extensive collection of photographs he calls The Relative Project, which he describes it as ongoing exploration of the human condition. It is based on the notion that we are all genetically related, if not in the recent past but certainly in the distance, and it focuses on what we have in common. Rather than include their surroundings to put them in perspective, he removes the context of his subjects’ situations by using a plain white sheet as the backdrop behind all of the images, and the powerful portraits are rendered in black and white and printed on aluminum. He finds his subjects going about their daily lives – in parks, on the street, on soccer pitches. Eardley is inspired by these people seeing their hope, bravery, strength, vulnerability, joy and beauty, and he describes them as his brothers and sisters.
The images on display feature the people of Zimbabwe and were taken during a 2002 trip when Eardley accompanied ZimArt’s curator, Fran Fearnley on one of her early trips to that country. The two have known each other for years, and the trip gave Eardley a welcome entrée into an unfamiliar country with a population that was well suited for his project.
Fran Fearnley is the founder of ZimArt and the Rice Lake Gallery which first opened in 2000 with an exhibit of Zimbabwean stone sculpture. Now in its 19th season, it is considered a seasonal art destination presenting an extensive array of stone sculptures . It also hosts special events to foster a greater appreciation for the Zimbabwe culture, including stone carving workshops as well as parties featuring local food, music and entertainment.
The photographs and prints in this exhibit are for sale and Eardley has generously offered to direct all proceeds after expenses to ZimKids Community Support. Fran established this not-for-profit corporation in 2013 as a vehicle to assist vulnerable children and communities of Zimbabwe and to build relationships that increase the understanding among people of different cultures and countries. (www.zimkids.ca)
The gallery opens its doors on Saturday, June 2nd and the Relative Project: Zimbabwe Exhibition runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until June 30th . For more information about this and other events at the gallery, visit www.zimart.ca. KG