Among the distinguished members of the class of ’06 graduating this spring, Economics and Studio Arts double major Austin Lord ’06 stands out among those who will leave a lasting imprint on the campus as a center of cultural and political involvement.
Lord’s photography has been showcased in various mediums and publications around campus. His work is currently on sale to benefit Asia Relief and the images themselves prove the global outlook his works portray.
The Asia Relief exhibition and benefit kicked off on Friday night in Collis Cafe, and will be ongoing for the rest of the term.
Some of the most poignant pieces of Lord’s collection were inspired upon arriving in Rome for his FSP the day after Pope John Paul II had died. Lord captured the millions of mourning Catholics in a series of photographs currently displayed in the front of the Collis dining area.
One can also see the odd images of New Hampshire industrial buildings or of Wilder, Vt. interspersed alongside the scenes of Turkey and France, portraying the contrast between studying in wildly romantic Nice or Rome and then returning to the bleak realities of Northern New England.
Lord conceives most of the photographs as belonging to two distinct groups. Ones that come in between these two separate groups “all have a similar architectural quality. I enjoy seeing how the satellite works play off of the larger groups. I start to understand more about the similarities between the work,” he said.
Viewers of the senior’s work will enjoy this interaction as well as the aesthetically gentle invitation to linger over what the artist offers through his varied images.
One grouping that stands out immediately is a photo essay on the death of Pope John Paul II, which Lord describes as a ” set of photographs I took of the people in the Piazza di San Pietro in the time between the death of Pope John Paul II and the presentation of Benedict XVI.”
The images range from a woman on her knees passing out flowers, lines of people staring at the facade of St. Peters, and Benedict XVI pulling back the curtain of the benediction loggia. Collectively, they communicate the human aspect of the appointment of the leader to one of the world’s longest lasting institutions, the Catholic Church. Lord takes the focus of this historically significant moment away from the conclave or the Pope’s death itself, taking interest instead in the international community eagerly attending the Vatican and the Eternal City during this time.
Lord’s Night Construction Series is also on display in Collis Cafe, a series of photographs which were all taken in the past two months. Although some of these images were shot in Boston, the majority were shot at Dartmouth, and show a subtle sense of color throughout.
Adding an eccentric flair that made the project more enjoyable for the artist, Lord decided to dress in black and “creep around these places at night” to take the photographs.
His subjects were the various construction sights around campus.
Giving more thought to the commonplace cranes and scaffolding to which the typical Hanoverian pays little attention, Lord saw the art in the process of the buildings’ construction.
“With this work, I wanted to reconsider these structures that people consider unfinished or unpolished. In the process of building, these sites become incredibly complex, both as landscapes and abstractions. These incomplete spaces have just as much integrity as the architectural structures that we consider most beautiful. At night they become very different than the buildings we just walk or drive by or complain about during the day,” he said.
Lord prefers black and white photography for its attention to form. This was s a crucial consideration with his architectural subjects such as those in his Night Construction Series.
Choosing to shoot only at night added another layer of denial of color and light to his images, but Lord made this decision in order to allow the light sources to become more complex.
From now until Graduation, fans of Lord’s work can purchase pieces at Collis Cafe and Food Court, the site of his other current exhibit. Students wishing to purchase prints can receive discounted rates.