June 12 - July 10, 2010
Parks Gallery. 127, Bent Street, New Mexico, USA
Erin Currier, whose art has long been concerned with issues of human rights, devotes her new work to portraits of a number of persecuted women heroes of independent media abroad, and one of a noted advocate for honest journalism here in the States. Journalistas Unembedded, an exhibition of Currier's new series, opens June 12 at Parks Gallery in Taos, NM.
“Being a journalist these days is one of the most courageous -- and often revolutionary -- things a person could possibly do,” Currier says. “For some, like Rozanna al Yami from Saudi Arabia, being a woman journalist is a fearless act. She was jailed and sentenced to 60 lashes, just because she worked for a television station that reported on extramarital sex. Another, Lubna Ahmed al Hussein of Sudan, was sentenced to 50 lashes and imprisoned for 2 months for wearing pants.” Currier has depicted them as the Tara, a deity believed to be the Hindu “Mother of Liberation.”
The largest piece in the show pays homage to Amy Goodman and her radio program Democracy Now which, according to Currier, “is one of the few news outlets in the U.S. that actually holds power accountable, and with moral authority and intellectual honesty tries to disseminate knowledge compassionately from a wide range of viewpoints.
According to a United Nation's report, 71 journalists were killed around the world in 2009, the largest number in the 30 years that the U.N. has been keeping track. The U.N.'s Committee to Protect Journalists reports that various governments had an additional 136 reporters in jail at the end of the year.
Currier's work, which has been devoted to issues ranging from heroes of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. to the corrosive effects of consumerism on school children around the world, is rendered with a distinctive combination of painting, drawing, and paper trash collage. Currier, who is 35 years old and lives in Santa Fe, travels widely in third world countries where she gathers the subjects and materials that speak forcefully of her own political and moral convictions.
As noted Taos author and activist John Nichols (The Milagro Beanfield War) writes: “Erin Currier's work reflects a conscience in touch with humanity. She does not separate her artistic vision from a compassionate yearning (and demand) for social equality. Her latest collection of portraits is luminous and inspiring, and possessed of a beautiful soul.
Journalistas Unembedded will be on view from June 12 to July 12, with a reception for the artist on June 12 from 4 to 6 pm.