Arts & Culture
Get ready for Kinesis - September 18,19
By Source: Nassau Guardian
Sep 3, 2008 - 11:46:59 PM


Thea Rutherford of the Nassau Guardian writes - This is it. Yup. This is the quintessential photo that Scharad Lightbourne has marked as the defining moment of his three-year photography career. It is also the official poster of "Kinesis" his multi-sensory exhibition waiting in the wings until September 18 and 19. The photograph is of Andre Chapelle - the famous Nassau itinerant whose life story has sauntered into the newspapers more than once, fulfilling reader curiosity about the often-spotted Oakes Field wanderer.

Eyes widened as if caught in headlights, Andre connects with Scharad in an ethereal moment that Lightbourne says some photographers wait their whole lives for.

The ironically happy-go-lucky Chapelle is on the verge of tears.

Lightbourne recalls the two-day shoot and its memorable climax in a rush of words as our interview at the College of the Bahamas campus Starbucks creeps to an end.

"He got so emotional, he said 'I can't do this shot. I cannot do this'. I said 'five more minutes; just talk to me. He said 'okay, but everybody has to leave the room'.

"The video left, the stylist left and my assistant left. And he started to talk more about his mother, and every time I talk about it, I start to feel it again. He looked down for like two seconds and he looked up and the water built up. I could see it in his eyes. And he blinked and he opened his eye, and a milisecond before the tear dropped, I snapped the picture.

"And to me, every photographer wishes for that moment all their life; when you spiritually connect with what you're shooting. That never happens."

So the fact that it happened for Lightbourne only added to the naked anticipation of his first solo photography show. For two days Lightbourne plans to hold a feast for the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin.

Perception will be flipped and toyed with through photographs that deliver the unexpected and fashion that literally speaks to the senses. Lightbourne has enlisted the talents of five designers to create clothing that reflects their interpretation of each of the five senses. "The clothing circles around the show," Lightbourne says.

There will be food. There will be music. There will be scents. The photographer wants the style of his exhibition to push the limits of expression as much as his work does. He is now in the execution stage of the show he began planning last November. The show will be held at the Wyndham Nassau Resort Ballroom, and due to Lightbourne's partnership with the Bahamas Wisdom Development Center and principal Michelle Wildgoose, will contain an educational component to help raise awareness for autism.

Lightbourne, 28, first ran the thought of wedding the other four senses with his own heightened sense of sight in a show to Devron Pinder and Nikolas Barnes, his business partners at their company Diplightmedia, and then to his parents. He shared the idea with a close photographer friend, who helped to develop the plan, and knew he was on to something.

Now days away from the July 1 promotional launch, his senses are piqued once more. Seated in Starbucks, his eyes taking in the sights in a 180-degree scan of the earth-toned café, Lightbourne seems aware of everything. He rehashes the particulars of Kinesis, from first inspiration to wooing sponsors. He speaks deliberately, with full stops after each word. Coffee shop sounds swirl by: the whirring of the coffee machines, the clank of mugs and utensils, the hum of voices greeting each other.

"We don't live without knowing what kinesis is because you do it every day," says Lightbourne. "The definition of kinesis is your ability to respond to different stimuli. When you go to the movies in the daytime, when you come out, your eyes squint because they have to adjust to the light ... It's just how you react to different things."

Stimuli will be multi-layered in the show. Lightbourne's subjects are a combination of local famous faces, fashion models and friends. His more popular subjects include accountant/lawyer Bernadette Christie, artist John Cox, rap duo NCity, legendary musican Ronnie Butler, journalist and pageant coordinator Michelle Malcolm and Miss Bahamas World 2007 Anya Watkins, among others. Placing such subjects in scenarios the public are not used to seeing them in Lightbourne's twist, adding to some photographs another of his heightened senses – a gutsy sense of humor.

"You always see and hear about these pageant girls. I'm sure there's a lot of drama that goes on, people talk about it, but you never see it. So I thought it would be really funny to take someone like Michelle Malcolm, who's always seen on TV, who's always seen and known for her production, which is Miss Bahamas World, and Anya, who is the present Miss Bahamas, and have them fight over a crown and sash and flowers and everything. Just a complete disaster."

Some day Lightbourne wants to be an international fashion photographer, his photographs splashed across haute couture magazines in enviable spreads. For now, his vision shows him seven "Phantom Brides" bedecked in wedding gowns and make-up, and Sheniqua the "Super Jungalist" – the superhero jungalist whose powers include the power to make people appreciate her over-the-top sense of style at a glance. These photographs will be included in the show.

In the end, Lightbourne hopes to use what he calls his sixth sense – the ability to see a photograph before he takes it – to rally more appreciation for unconventional Bahamian art.

"What I hope the show will do is really crush the walls [for] unconventional artists to be recognized as Bahamian artists," he says. "People are not so ready to see something like this. We're so set in so many ways and so concentrated in terms of vision, to see outside of that vision or outside of that quote unquote box that will really hopefully open up the way people see, period. Not even just art."

Lightbourne dared to free fall last August when he left a full-time job at a local advertising agency to do his own thing, to take the photographs he wanted to take in the way that he saw them. Kinesis is the billowing parachute.


The Nassau Guardian Article HERE

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