Abigail Zoe Martin: Chicago Lights
@ Zhou B Art Center
1029 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609
Opening Friday, December 21st, from 7PM - 10PM
On view through Friday, December 28th
Nov 16th – Dec 28th
Second Floor Exhibition Space
Abigail Zoe Martin Solo Exhibition
The Zhou B Art Center, in association with White Color Productions, is proud to present “Chicago Lights,” an audio and visual collection of 81 portraits and interviews by acclaimed British photographer Abigail Zoe Martin.
The concept of “Chicago Lights” was born in 2015 with Martin’s relocation to Chicago from London for her husband’s job. Driven by a sense of isolation from family and friends, she went in search of connections to Chicagoans from all walks of life; the culminating exhibition debuts at the Zhou B Art Center (1029 W. 35th Street) on Friday, Nov. 16 with a six-week run.
“The show is a raw and unfiltered conversation with Chicagoans and illuminates the incredible kindness I found,” says Abigail Zoe Martin. “Feeling profoundly displaced, I turned to photography as a means to explore my new city, meeting — sometimes by chance — an eclectic and diverse range of people with a wonderful inner light and a common thread of integrity, compassion and empathy.”
The subjects are a wide-ranging and impressive group of characters who contribute to the immense diversity, richness and originality of Chicago’s landscape. Among those photographed are Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago Bear Israel Idonije, Medical Director of the Centre for Sexual Medicine and Menopause Dr. Lauren Streicher, Priest and Social Activist Father Michael Pfleger, Dating and Relationship Expert Bela Gandhi, Michelin-starred Chef Curtis Duffy, Rising Singer Kiara Lanier, and Famed Art Brothers ShanZuo ZhouShi and DaHuang ZhouShi. The full list of participants can be found below.
Autonomy is a major part of Martin’s work. Subjects chose their photo setting and style and then nominated the next person to be photographed. Each picture is accompanied by a one-minute audio excerpt, taken from the longer, intimate conversations that Martin had with each subject. The audio is accessible to viewers via QR codes and SoundCloud. Martin hopes audiences can find common ground and an authentic connection with her subjects, through the commanding combination of image and sound.
Produced in two sizes, the photographs are available to purchase, with 20 percent of the proceeds benefiting Breakthrough Urban Ministries, a non-profit organization in East Garfield Park which partners with those affected by poverty to build connections, develop skills and open the doors of opportunity. The public is invited to an opening reception with Martin on Friday, Nov. 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Zhou B Art Center.
About Abigail Zoe Martin
Abigail Zoe Martin has been taking photographs since she was first handed a vintage camera by her father in her teens. Her passion for photography grew when she studied at Miami University in the 90s. Completely inspired by her environment, she decided that photography was to be her chosen profession. Her first exhibition “I Must Dance!” in 2002 at The Coningsby Gallery (London) launched her career and was covered in Tatler, Time Out and on the radio. Since then her work has been published in a wide variety of magazines including Red, Psychologies, Schon! Magazine, The Times, and more. In 2013, a selection of Martin’s images of BBC Radio 4 Presenters were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and are now part of their permanent collection. In 2015, Abigail moved to Chicago via Madrid, with her husband Leonardo and their two children, Anoushka and Xavier. This move encouraged Abigail to write a blog documenting her journey and also inspired Chicago Lights. For more information about Martin and Chicago Lights, visit www.abigailzoemartin.com and www.chicagostoriesblog.com.
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