Banho de Luz – A Light Bath Ritual – COMPLETED

A project by Lillian Blades, Linda Costa & Roni Nicole Henderson

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Bring a Cathartic Light Ritual to Downtown Atlanta for ELEVATE

 

 

“If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don’t keer if you die at dusk. It’s so many people never seen de light at all.”

― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Our story begins with Lillian Blades, an Atlanta based assemblage and mixed media artist whose sculptural work Memory Totem was created and displayed as one of several public artworks in the  Atlanta Underground area last year as part of the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs ELEVATE program.  Through the platform of public arts provided by ELEVATE, Lillian was able to transform the cultural landscape of Atlanta and provide the public with a mind expanding work of art.  Her personal experience with this program led her to enlist two other powerful artists, light painting photographer Linda Costa and “Moving Pictures” video artist Roni Nicole Henderson to collaborate on another ELEVATE project that will be exponentially more powerful.

Carnegie Art Pavilion – The site for the Banho de Luz Art Demonstration

Collectively, we hope to illuminate and heal all who experience our collaboration while offering a glimpse of our distinct yet closely connected cultural and spiritual traditions- Bahamian Junkanoo, Brazilian Candomble, and Diasporic traditions, offering powerful insights on the power that light has over darkness.

 

Banho de Luz

 

By creating our own ritual – Banho de Luz (or Bath of Light) – we seek to cleanse and invigorate the audience by using light as a conductive material in substitution to the waters used in healing herbal baths common in Brazilian Candomble and other African Diaspora ceremonies.  Our Light Bath is meant to charge the participants with new vigor and energy in order to empower them in their individual paths, and through them inspire strength and healing in our city as a whole.  Our movements will be intimate, slow, deliberate, trance like and driven by the energy present during the ritual.  We intend to capture the process and progress via long exposure light painted photographs as well as video stream so that we can learn from and share this new exciting exchange between artist as spiritual guide and audience as initiate.

From the Passages Exhibit by Lillian Blades at Sandler Hudson Gallery

 

The Experience      

A Light Painting by Linda Costa

 

It is only in darkness that one can truly appreciate the power of light.  It illuminates and peels back the layers of fear, fans away our clouded judgement, brings clarity and courage.  Using nightfall in Downtown Atlanta as our stage, a place that during daylight bustles with the youthful vigor of college students and the intense energy of business yet alternately becomes a deserted wasteland at night, we intend to use the transformative power of art to infuse the dead zones of downtown with light, beauty and life.  Our ritual intends to attract initiates to our light temple, a three dimensional structure composed of colorful vinyl and cloth, ornate and glowing with colorful lights crafted by renowned assemblage artist Lillian Blades.  Once the chosen participants are inside the magnificent tapestry that will be hung artfully from the Carnegie Educational Pavilion, they will be silently welcomed by Lillian and light painting Photographer Linda Costa, who will jointly begin the ritual, each one moving slowly around participants using alternate sources of light.  All the while 3-5 minute long exposures are captured on camera and shared with the audience outside of the light temple via projections.  Video stream captures the process and will be transmitted online and also shared via projections courtesy of ‘Moving Pictures’ Filmmaker Roni Nicole Henderson’s captive eye.  To amplify the experience for participants and viewers, we have invited musical artist Yamin Semali to add to the richness of the experience with spiritually influenced rhythmic selections from our respective cultural backgrounds. This public demonstration of the Light Bath ritual will offer the opportunity for soul-searching and self realization in the participants and viewers which will serve as a catalyst for better interpersonal relationships in our community.

Your Support

Lillian Blades Detail from Piece in Progress

We need your support to help ensure that this collaborative project reaches its full potential, positively impacting as many people as possible. Though we are very grateful to receive some funding from the City of Atlanta it is not nearly enough to cover the basic costs of acquisition of the materials and the cost of our labor, which will exceed 200 working hours. We are highly motivated to make this a success and in order to fulfill this project we need people like you to support us and to invest in the power of art to transform lives.  Please give generously at the funding level that makes sense for you and please take advantage of the amazing rewards we offer to the right!

Live in the Light!
Thank you in advance.

Self Portrait by Roni Nicole Henderson

A Light Painting by Linda Costa

A Light Painting by Linda Costa

Photo by Roni Nicole Henderson

 

Seed Information

Highlights:

Elevate will occur October 19th and 25th at the Carnegie Education Pavilion  in Downtown Atlanta.  The arts exhibitions will begin at 8 pm and continue until 11 pm.  Participation is limited, but the event will be participatory for all via the images projected onto a nearby building for spectators to witness and share.

About the Artists

Lillian Blades

Visual Artist – Patch-worked Illuminations

www.lillianblades.com

 

I have always been interested in the process of assembling materials and objects in a patch-work manner that would transform or create a space. I love working with a variety of medium, from the very permanent such as stained glass and copper to more common items such as plastic bags, tape and staples.  I’m originally a painter who decided to use the physicality of the canvas as a framework to build 3-dimensional structures. Taking that same approach, I created concrete based mosaics using reflective tiles that were reminiscent of ‘Memory Jars’. Through my experience using translucent materials I began exploring with the way light reflects and illuminates by passing onto and through such materials. The resulting effects of light used in my work remind me of the feelings I have in the midst of a Junkanoo parade. I’ve chosen to employ sewing in my work both for the physical support it creates as well as to pay homage to my mom, a seamstress who passed during my childbirth, as well as to honor all the mothers, quilters and unrecognized craft artists who laboriously work with their hands. I was born in 1973 in Nassau, Bahamas where I grew up until I left for Art School in 1993. I received a BFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1996 and an MFA in Painting from Georgia State in 2000. I also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 1999 and Caversham in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa in 2007. My art has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, as well as the Bahamas, Trinidad, Germany, and South Africa. My work has been commissioned for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, The East Atlanta Library, and Jean Young Middle School. My art can be found in the collection of The Birmingham Museum of Art and The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.

Linda Costa Photography

. . . capture your soul . . .

www.lindacosta.com

My photographs are light painted portraits- long exposures created in complete darkness using controlled lighting. All the special effects achieved in my images are done in the moment of taking the photograph, using experimental lighting techniques, not computer graphics. Each image takes between 2-5 minutes to create, while some may take as long as 15-30 minutes in order to achieve particular effects. These longer exposures allow me to create multiple people out of a single person, to add a feeling of time passing or movement in a single shot, and to create amazing special effects before your very eyes, in the moment of creation.  I am passionate about my creative process, and have been commissioned for personal and commercial needs such as Album Art, Book Covers, and Fine Art Prints. I’m also known for performing my light painting at live events, where I can create images and share them with the public instantly. In these performances my work is fueled by the energy the audience shares. My unique process captures the essence of the subject I’m working with, creating images that are magical, colorful and bold.  I’m a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and credit my tropical roots for my love of people, color and movement. I reside in Atlanta, GA with my husband and my daughter, where I participate in various exhibitions and events throughout the year.

 

Roni Nicole Henderson Filmmaker | moving pictures |

www.roninicole.com

Roni Nicole makes moving pictures.  Not just because they are pretty.  Pretty is nice, but for her, beauty is a means to reach another goal: the creation of change, even an inch will do. Through filmmaking, Roni strives to capture the profound in the everyday messages around us, a practice she learned at the foot of a master tale-weaver, her Grandmother.  Left to imagine the faces and the environments of her Grandmother’s dynamic characters, Roni decided that these dynamic and complex folks deserved a life visualized, painted in ways that would carry their acts of heroism, unconditional love, cowardice, and even confusion out into the world.  Armed with this mission, Roni packed up an English teaching career and headed for film school to harness her storytelling weapons of choice: the camera and a mastery of both light and shadow.  She now works with a team of truly anointed artists, intent on rediscovering the mystical in our world, the high magic that has the power to truly move and restore us.  Roni is the recipient of an Idea Capital Atlanta Grant for Outdoor Experimental Video Projections (2011-2012 Grant Cycle) and a 2012 Wonderroot Walthall Fellow. M.F.A., Film and Television, Savannah College of Art and Design, 2008 B.A., English/Education, Clark Atlanta University, 2002

FAQs:

When will the rewards be delivered? Facebook Shout Outs – regularly throughout the campaign on Raise it Up. Hugs – available on demand! Personal Thank Yous – early November Postcards and other Physical Gifts – November Artist’s Talk – November Photo Shoot – At a mutually agreeable time for the recipients and Roni Nicole Henderson (availability is limited) Artwork – December 2012

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