For three weeks, beginning on Oct. 18, Patricia Houghton-Clarke’s “Facing Ourselves: Carpinteria,” will be exhibited at the Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center. Houghton-Clarke’s large-format portrait photographs explore migration and integration from an intimate perspective.
“Facing Ourselves” began on the frontlines of the recent wave of Northern African, Western Asian and Middle Eastern refugees that crashed upon the shores of Western Europe. While other documentarians focused on the dramatic and politically charged journeys, Houghton-Clarke quietly turned her camera upon the refugees themselves as they assimilated into new communities and cultures.
When asked about memorable facets of the “Facing Ourselves” project, Houghton-Clarke replied, “One of the most satisfying aspects has been the ‘ripple effect’ in Carpinteria, whereby community members have sponsored fundraising workshops and are creating adjunct events synchronizing with the theme of the exhibition.”
The exhibition won the international Julia Margaret Cameron Honorable Mention Award for Human Rights based on the portraits from Italy and London. Several of the photographs were exhibited in the 5th Biennale in Barcelona, Spain this past Spring. To date, Houghton-Clarke has been invited by communities in Denmark, Mexico and Germany to continue the project which has achieved international and national coverage.
In addition to the Gallery exhibition inside the Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center, the work will be seen at the Seal Fountain on Linden Avenue, and at the intersection of Linden and Carpinteria avenues on large-format vinyl banners. All photographs and banners will be for sale and proceeds benefit the “Facing Ourselves” project and the CAC.
An opening reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center, 865 Linden Ave., and an artist talk will be held at CAC on Saturday, Oct.19, from 2 to 5 p.m. Both the reception and artist talk are free and open to the public.