Ethiopia photo exhibit opens at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery
"Ethiopia: Religious Pageantry and Tribal Traditions," a collection of stunning photos depicting the daily life and customs of a region many in the West will never see, will be on display from Thursday, Jan. 27, through Sunday, March 20, at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 27 in the gallery, which is located in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
Photographer Barbara Paul, a Westport resident, often travels to rural areas in Asia and Africa and her photography reflects her deep interest in the ethnic dress, religious practices, festivals and traditions of the people she encounters. Her Ethiopia photo collection features the 13th-century rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, the mysterious monasteries on the islands of Lake Tana and the colorful and passionately observed Timkat Festival at Gondar in the country's northern regions. Paul's photos also capture daily tribal life in the Oma Valley in the South, where she visited the Mursi tribe, one of the few groups on Earth in which women wear large clay plates inserted in their lower lips.
Paul found Ethiopia and its people visually striking and wonderful subjects for her lens. At times, she found herself swept along with the exuberant crowds at festivals, becoming a part of the events she chronicled.
"The biblical atmosphere of the North is so transforming, and the tribal life and customs of the South so intriguing - even sometimes shocking - that I was constantly challenged to try to capture it all on film," she said of her travels.
Paul has spent many years traveling the world, as her past photo exhibits show. Earlier this year, she displayed photos from Papua New Guinea in Rye, N.Y., and her photos from Vietnam have been exhibited at Gallery Vietnam in New York City. Other recent exhibits include "Mali: From Dogon to Desert" at Earthplace in Westport and "Rhythms of Rural Asia" at the Westport Library.
Paul is a graduate of Wellesley College and earned an MBA from New York University.
Admission to the exhibit is free. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call (203) 254-4010, ext. 2969.
Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on December 3, 2004
Vol. 37, No. 113