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Seeking Roots
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Artist Statement
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I am inspired by an insatiable curiosity to learn, explore, and demystify. I enjoy a captivating, challenging adventure peppered with mystery. Through my exhibit, I will share an important narrative, which began shortly after my birth. Second only to photography, is my love of history. I have begun an emotional journey back in time that spans two continents and cultures, involves many people, and has love at its core.

My exhibit, Seeking Roots, begins with five silver-gelatin photographs that intrigue the viewer with symbolic metaphors. The viewer then moves to the cyber exhibit on the web site www.seekingroots.com to learn and view more of the journey in seeking my roots. My work uses contemporary technology to display and disseminate a historical story through still photography, documents, and video.

An important facet of my life is keeping the past alive and enriching humankind's existence through education or change. I am influenced by authors such as Mark Twain, Alex Haley, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. These writers enlighten those who read their books. As well, documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, and photographer, Dorothea Lange, are my inspiration in the visual world. A passionate historian, Burns is a master at using film, interviews, and still photography to teach and entertain. Lange was one of the earliest documentary photographers that worked for social change. Similar to Burns and Lange, I hope through my artistic work to enrich people's lives. By way of multimedia, I am combining my four passions in my exhibit, Seeking Roots.


Please read my Biography too.

Karen Willis
May, 2005

Seeking Roots

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