THE ARTISTS’ STATEMENT
In the days following the Newtown tragedy I opened a dialogue with my children to see how they were feeling and coping with the horrible news. During those difficult conversations my son said to me, “Dad… you should give some of your beautiful art to those families to make them less sad.” A heartbreaking moment that changed my life for the next thereafter.
I realized my son thought that a gift of art might help them heal and so I set out to find a mode of creation, to hone in on a process that would allow me to create 26 works that would have the impact read of prayer, to enable a platform for all manners of positive meditation on the memories of the victims, to be a point of comforting focus through which one might keep vigil.
I felt the immediate challenge was to eliminate all traces of narrative, to create a body of work that could act as a conduit for others feelings, recollections and ideas and not to stand as any manner of artistic interpretation of the tragedy. Per my sons intention it was to be a project of hope with healing in mind.
I knew that elementary forms and color with an extreme focus on pathways and presence of light(ness) would be the content capable of the grace necessitated by the horrible emptiness all of the families would be feeling. I wanted everyone to feel like it feels to stare blankly out a window at the sky at dawn or sunset, (when) the burning light transforms the heart with moments of profound, almost disconnected reflection – light is hope in dark times.
Mr. Richard and Jennifer Sands were made aware of this collection to promote hope as we embarked in discussions for my upcoming tour of exhibitions. I told them my son’s story and shared the images created. They felt it was an overwhelmingly beautiful collection and that being both art and memorial, it simply had to go to the families to preserve the collection’s integrity. Mr. Sands then stated that he and Jennifer would like to gift the collection to Newtown, Connecticut.
Additionally Richard is funding the production of a 10-minute educational documentary about the “New Town” Project that will follow the creation of a unique work, indicative of the collection, from the studio to the gallery wall, and serve as a vehicle for me to define my pioneering approach to developing new pure photo-graphic subject matters.
So now I’m holding a fundraising effort of the collection to raise the funds needed to give the second gift. The collection of 26 works each being 26″ x 26″ with a 3″ border professionally framed in white. Each work was inspired by the biographical information and photograph of one of the victims. It is an archival museum quality Giclée print on Hahnemühle 350gsm acid free paper.
The remaining proceeds that do not go directly into the production of this body of work will be given to the Sandy Hook Scholarship Fund.
– Henry Avignon
1972 – Born in Tampa, Florida U.S.A. 1972.
1992 – Associates Degree in Photo Journalism SUNY Morrisville New York
2000 – Baccalaureate degree in Literature / Minor in Psychology SUNY Brockport New York
2011 – (Near completion) Masters of Art, Creative Writing, Poetry SUNY Brockport New York
Father of two children
VISUAL WORKS FEAUTURED IN LITERARY & ART MAGAZINES AND REVIEWS
2009 USA April:Ydrasil Literature & Arts (Chapbook)
2009 USA June: Full Of Crow Literature & Arts (20 works)
2009 USA July: Red Bicycle Literature & Arts (20 works)
2009 India December: The Stark Electric Space Literature & Arts (3 works)
2010 USA July: Naugatuck River Review Literature & Arts (Cover)
2010 USA October: Metropolitan Magazine of Art’s & Culture (Cover
SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2010 Philadelphia – USA James Oliver Gallery
2010 Rochester, New York – USA Memorial Art Gallery
2011 (April) Paris, France – Arcima Gallery
2011 Rochester, New York – Nikko Gallery
2012 Rochester, New York – Nikko Gallery
2012 Rochester, New York – East Avenue Hotel
2012 Rochester, New york – Strathallan Hotel
2012 Rochester, New York – AXOM Gallery
East Avenue Inn & Suites, Rochester NY USA
Excelsus Solutions, Rochester NY USA
Hilton Hotel, Rochester NY USA
Nikko Gallery, Rochester NY USA
PUBLISHED POETRY COLLECTIONS
The Listening Trees, 2009
Joie de Vivre, 2010
SELECTED ADAPTATIONS OF WORKS BY WRITERS FOR ILLUSTRATING THEIR WORKS
-2009 USA: James Heller Levinson: to illustrate his Hinge Theory dynamics as they pertain to the linking of visual media to written word for the With Mermaid series from the Pulitzer Prize nominated poetry collection “Smelling Mary.”
-2009 Nepal: Yuyutsu R.D. Sharma: to illustrate the cover and 4 text segments (5 images) of his poetry collection “Space Cake Amsterdam.”
-2009 India: Ashok Banker: to illustrate the cover of his controversial novel “God’s of War.”
-2010 Scotland: Geoff Cooper: to illustrate the cover of his poetry collection “Songs The Lightning Sang”
-2011 USA: Michael Main: 10 images used for cover and incorporated as collaborative illustration for radical poetics “Quintet for the Apocalypse”
-2011 South Africa, Short Fiction Anthology, Gary Cummisky – Editor: To illustrate the cover
-2011 USA: “Triptychs: A ‘Nam Marine’s Now and Then” – Poetry Collection by Andy Syor: 12 images used as illustration
-2012 Berlin, Germany: poster illustration for play “The Machine” by Julie Stearns based on the book “One Flew Over The Cookoo’s Nest: art selected from “Po(o)rtraits” series.
-2012 Denmark: EriK Kock, Used as cover for “Klokkedybet,” a collection of short stories: art selected from “Po(o)rtraits” series.
Works are currently in collections in USA, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, India, Australia, Algeria