LICHEN by Alexia Beckerling
6 September - 3 October 2018
About the Collection:
Lichen are symbiotic communities of vastly different organisms that have evolved intimately together for billions of years. The fungus provides shelter, water and nutrients. The algae provides energy in the form of sugar from photosynthesis. Just recently, scientists discovered that most lichen have a third organism – a yeast – also living in symbiosis. Many of the 20,000 known species of lichen are miniature self-contained ecosystems.
From a photographer’s point of view, Alexia feels that the biology, colours and textures of lichen express the creative beauty of nature, life and love. Lichen cannot exist independently and flourish where the air is clean. At this critical juncture in the survival of the earth and its resources, Alexia believes it is essential to experience and document as much natural beauty as possible.
"These photographs witness and celebrate these minute yet immensely significant and symbolic organisms"
About Alexia Beckerling:
I am a photographer, writer and teacher based in Cape Town, South Africa.
My love of photography crystallized when I saw the ethereal world of wild Namaqualand flowers through a macro lens. I discovered that looking through a lens truly transformed the way I see things. Since then, I have photographed religious festivals in Mexico, the eccentricities of a small, western Montana town, the campaign trails of U.S. presidential hopefuls, the journey of Vangethongo, a white South African woman into the world of traditional African healing, and the life of Tibetan refugee Buddhist nuns in India. And most recently, I have turned my lens to lichen.
A master’s degree in Photojournalism at the University of Montana in the United States introduced me to digital storytelling. I worked with Tibetan refugee children in India and produced a series of multimedia profiles of Montana artists for NewWest.net, an online magazine. I have run photography workshops for The Stars of Tomorrow Education Trust (Cape Town, S.A.), Summer Arts and Leadership Camp (Montana, U.S.A.) and Cameraland (Cape Town, S.A.). I produced a number of video and photography projects for Uthando, a Non Profit and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited company in Cape Town and worked at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York and the Everard Read Gallery in Cape Town. My first solo museum exhibition was in 2009 at the Missoula Art Museum in Missoula, Montana. My photographs and articles have been published in local and international publications and I have exhibited in South Africa, the United States, France and Cambodia.
"I believe that images can create change, promote awareness and celebrate and preserve fleeting moments, personal histories and natural beauty"
More work from Alexia: www.alexiabeckerling.com