Being Set Free - A Photographic Exercise

exhibition fine art

Being Set Free is a liberating photographic exercise that invites artists to create art through an introspective process of self-discovery. Created by award-winning photographer and artist Karen Devine, the exercise is designed to help us uncover hidden issues that we find difficult to deal with, issues that might be preventing us from moving on.

According to Karen, the work must have a photographic element that must be accompanied by a written story with the understanding that story and imagery must have a cohesive relationship.

The project culminated with an exhibition at A Smith Gallery to run from February 23 to April 15, 2018. Bellow are my three images selected to be part of the exhibition:


The image represents my fear of a future where AI machines rebel against and enslave the human race. For those of us, sci-fi aficionados, mixing robots and artificial intelligence is a scary combination. We watched Battlestar Galactica. We know what happens when machines evolve. In Battlestar Galactica, intelligent robots called Cylons almost destroyed mankind in a 1,000-year war.

Raymond Kurzweil, author of “The Age of Intelligent Machines”, predicts that we are just a few years away from artificial intelligence (AI) outsmarting the human brain. AI has already become a household term thanks to Google, Apple, Amazon, and other tech giants.

Royal astronomer Sir Martin Rees believes machines will replace humanity within a few centuries. A recent technology conference in Hong Kong showcased two lifelike robots named Han and Sophia.

Physicist Stephen Hawking issued a warning about the need to control technology to prevent it from destroying the human race.

The threat is real!



This image takes me back in time. A little boy, innocent and naive, still untouched by fear or guilt. Everything new, everything a source of wonder.

I can’t remember the first time I saw my parents or was it, grandma? What a wonderful experience that might have been. My first bicycle, the first dog, first rain. Who knew water could flow from the sky? The sun, the moon, the stars… I still have such a profound admiration for celestial bodies and the mysteries of the universe.

The first feeling of loss came early though. It rendered me motionless, like a helpless bystander watching my most terrifying moments play out in front of me. The most inspiring first, however, was listening to my uncle play the piano. I had no idea classical music could be so touching. It touched so deep that inspired me to become a pianist, a photographer, and an artist.



Emotional healing from encrusted grief sounds like a liberating proposition. But, what if the pain has become so familiar that it makes me feel like home? I have very few memories of my mother, who I lost when I was 13. As many years have passed after that, the devastating feeling of loss has abated but I still carry it with me.

The dress in the image symbolizes the dichotomy between pain and remembrance. It clings to the branch like I do to the pain in an attempt to maintain a connection to the person I loved the most and to a time in my life when I was really happy. I added an imaginary wind to provide a means to set the dress free. Do I really want to be set free?

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