The Iowan features Fairfield artist Stacey Hurlin’s photos of light and love in The Halo Project

A Fairfield artist focuses on unifying humanity

Click on The Halo Project: The Hopeful Lightness of Being, to see all of the photographs taken by Stacey Hurlin featured in the November/December 2010 issue of The Iowan.

Stacey Hurlin’s 2009 art installation — Angels on High — included several circular light fixtures. When the setup was complete, one extra light fixture remained. Voila! The Halo Project was born. Hurlin invited visitors to her Fairfield gallery to pose for the camera in an aura of light.

“I did not expect what happened next. People became playful. Bonds were formed — among family members, between friends, or between the sole subject interacting with the photographer,” remembers Hurlin.

After shooting a thousand photographs, Hurlin began to see something new as she peered through the lens. As people unassumingly held a circle of light as a prop, she noticed that their faces were themselves holding light for just that instant.

Hurlin says the photography project has revealed and been propelled by the strength of human commonality. Her images, she explains, accentuate our unity. “No medium compares with photography to tell the truth. You can show an image of hate and suffering, and the viewer can make a whole story around that photo, that suffering is a truth about humanity. Exhibit a photo of light and love, and that too will mirror for us a truth, our highest goodness, our true nature as a human race, peace.”

She is currently photographing in Iowa, but Hurlin plans to expand the scope of the project, sometimes using a portable “Halo Booth.”  She’s researching options for a solar panel that would enable her to photograph in remote locations sans electricity.

Hurlin envisions a wide application for The Halo Project images, perhaps one day seen along roadways and on the information superhighway. “Wherever these photo collages are exhibited — be it billboards, magazines, airports, or city halls — I want the viewer to take pause and to somewhere inside have a voice say, ‘Yes, there is light and, yes, I could be one of those people, and, yes, let it begin with me.’ It is a tiny awakening, but it is huge.” — B.W. [Beth Wilson, Editor]

Anastasia “Stacey” Hurlin retains the rights to The Halo Project concept, including the use of lights as a backdrop for individual and group photos that are then collaged in large groupings, the working title The Halo Project, and the application of “halos” as part of a local, national, or international image project.

After raising five sons, Stacey Hurlin and her  husband now live in a solar- and wind-powered Fairfield home. Hurlin, who signs her artwork simply “Anastasia,”  is both painter — with women as her primary subject — and photographer. She approaches any photography project — local or global — as an endeavor that mirrors the light and energy of life’s force itself. Nothing more, nothing less. (anastasiafineart.com)

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