Jan. 17, 2006 -- Media artist and new U.Va. faculty member Lydia Moyer will exhibit her work at the Off Grounds Gallery from Jan. 24 through Feb. 10. The exhibit, "Deep South," includes prints and a video project created in response to three years Moyer spent in Alabama and North Carolina.
In the series of prints in the exhibit Moyer layers images of women from the 1915 silent film classic "Birth of A Nation," by D.W. Griffith, with digitally altered photographs of trees, taken in Alabama. Moyer links the images of feminine beauty and the racist portrait of the South during Reconstruction that Griffith portrayed in the film with the rural forested South where Klansmen carried out lynchings.
"Though much attention in particular has been paid to Griffith's romantic portrayal of the klan, less has been said about the white female characters whose 'honor' figures highly in the film's violent climax. Lynching in the South was often justified as a defense of the purity of white womanhood and the female characters in 'Birth of a Nation' are indeed long-suffering and pure (one of them throws herself off a cliff rather than succumb to the advances of a black man) as well as simplistic," Moyer said in her artist's statement.
The video installation being exhibited links the poetry of Sylvia Plath with the strange results when tornados mix water with the red clay soil creating a rusty dirt known as blood rain. "The iron oxide that makes the soil red is the same element that colors our blood. The inside/out of that strange weather and the turmoil in the poetry inspired the video," Moyer said.
Moyer received a bachelor's of fine arts from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., a master's of fine arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and did graduate work in new media at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She joined the University of Virginia McIntire Department of Art this spring and will head the studio art program in new media.
An opening reception will be held Friday, Feb. 2, 6-8 p.m. at the Off Grounds Gallery, 300 West Main St., Charlottesville, Va. Gallery hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 4-6 p.m., Friday, 3-7 p.m. and Saturday, 1-5 p.m.
For more information about the exhibit call the McIntire Department of Art at (434) 924-6123.