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Exhibit depicts troubled times of Northern Ireland

Dec. 22, 2008

KALAMAZOO--"Timelines," a video exhibit by artist John Carson, will be on display at Western Michigan University beginning Thursday, Jan. 8.

The exhibit will officially open in the Richmond Center for Visual Arts following a 5:30 p.m. presentation by the artist in Lecture Hall 2008. It will continue through Saturday, Feb. 7. All exhibits and related events are free and open to the public.

Richmond Center gallery hours

  • Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: noon to 6 p.m.

During 1975 and 1976, Carson visited friends and family in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and photographed them in their homes. The photographs were placed on a map of the area to create an artwork depicting a social network of connections and relationships that crossed geographical, religious and political divisions.

Some 30 years later, Carson decided to revisit this network of friends, speaking with as many of them as possible about their life experiences over the past three decades. Carson wanted to give a voice to the faces from his original Friend Map and reflect on how their life experiences compared to youthful aspirations. The resulting artwork is a compilation of extracts from video interviews with 42 people still living in the greater Belfast area.

What is conveyed through the videos is the resilience, ready humor and humanity that enabled this diverse group of people to make it through 30 years of fear, intimidation and violence, to a point of tentative hope for a peaceful future in Northern Ireland. While the work does have a particular Northern Irish perspective, it depicts universal concerns encountered on life's journey, as these 42 people reflect on their ambitions, achievements, highs, lows, loves, losses, hopes and fears.

For more information, visit the Frostic School of Art online, or contact the exhibitions office at (269) 387-2455.

Media contact: Tonya Durlach, (269) 387-8400, tonya.durlach@wmich.edu

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