Heather L. O'Neil
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Face of Congo
Heather L. O'Neil - Copyright © 2011 - All Rights Reserved
Congo Girl I received the First Place Award in the 2009 Biennial Juried Exhibition at the Dubuque Museum of Art.
Juror's Statement -- "As a gallery owner, I tend to look for art that will sell. As a juror of an art exhibition I try to find out about the artist through their imagery.
I looked for technical mechanics and true passion to select the winners, which wasn't an easy task..." Michael Gerber, Gruen Galleries, Chicago
Congo Girl II and Congo Boy I received Special Recognition in the Upstream People Gallery's 12th Annual Faces Juried Online International Art Exhibition
Juror's Statement -- "Heather O'Neil
After spending five months doing volunteer work in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006, I am now working from my photographs.
This was not our first experience in Africa. My husband and I spent a few months in Ghana in 2002. However, I found the Democratic Republic of Congo made a deeper impression upon me. There are some commonalities between the two countries - poverty and famine. Yet, the entire scene in Congo is different and much more desperate. There are soldiers everywhere. The entire country is in turmoil. The city of Kinshasa, the capitol of DRC, is filled with 8 or 9 million people -- many of whom needed to flee from the rural areas of the country because of rebel armies. It is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 homeless children in Kinshasa. Children are living on the streets, begging for money or food. Warring armies over the years have left the capital city in ruins.
I was affected by the of expression, or maybe even the lack of expression, on the faces of people walking down the street.
My desire is to reflect the emotion of my experience through this series, FACE OF CONGO.
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