Livaudais’ photography exhibit on display at North Little Rock library

Joli Livaudais

Joli Livaudais, assistant professor of photography, will hold a photography exhibit at the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Public Library from May 17 to June 15. 

The library is located at 420 Main St., North Little Rock, and is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The exhibit, “And Then I Will See,” will feature a series of images printed using an historical printing process, gum bichromate, which involves hand coating watercolor paper with a light-sensitive emulsion combined with watercolor pigments in multiple layers to achieve a print.

“This highly involved process yields images that are softly focused, surreal in color, and are reminiscent of a constructed memory,” she said.

This series is inspired by her father’s search to uncover patterns in the universe that would allow him to win the lottery and achieve financial security for his family.

“My mother’s last battle with cancer financially devastated my parents. When she died, my father fixated on his solution to the crisis. He decided he would win the lottery,” Livaudais said. “My father believed there are patterns in the universe and that by studying nature they could be discerned. Things we believe to be random can actually be predicted, if we could account for all of the variables that go into this pattern. He spent the next several years working on uncovering this great truth.”

Livaudais’ father analyzed thousands of samples of random numbers. He tracked the astronomical objects and weather patterns. He would buy a single lottery ticket every week, but never won the lottery, concluding that there were “just too many variables to account for.”

“When he died, and I sat with the boxes of pages of gridded numbers, I recognized much of myself in the pages – the study of nature in search of something deeper, the same desire for meaning and order,” she said. “In these photographs, I study nature, beauty, and the minutia of my own life and relationships in the context of my father’s data, with all the emotion and ambiguous connections that such a study implies.”

The images were captured on black and white film with a lensless pinhole camera and layered with photographs of her father’s numbers.

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