In 2019, Autumn Lyn began a project to interview people she knew and people she encountered serendipitously. She asked a single question, “What are you seeking?” Without intending any specific response, she was answered with ideas and language that shows the diversity of thoughts and dreams of people across the world. The selection of photographs and quotations presented is just a handful of an ever-growing library that in less than a year includes over 250 people. Respondents vary in age, background, livelihood, and origin, and each response is more than a reflection of particular parameters; some people long for belonging, others simply want something sweet. And by using a looking glass to magnify the eyes, the artist creates a graceful circular metaphor for peering inward.
There is also a discussion about dignity embedded in these pieces. First is the act of revealing a desire to an unknown audience: a woman recording with an iPhone, and anyone beyond. Speaking your desires aloud makes them real and is the foundation for responsibility. Second is an act by the audience. By engaging with these pieces, we confirm their validity that they are seeking some truth in life and doing so uniquely is valid. It is clear that each person here is an individual, but when placed together we can see how human purpose and meaning are refracted and magnified through life. In turn, the exhibition validates what we seek, be it an accomplishment or our next meal.
These pieces are gentle brushes across the moire of the lives of strangers. When we leave the exhibit, which person will we carry with us? Do they reflect something recognizable within ourselves as well? In a time of such uncertainty, a gentle touch may mean more than we realize. We hope this exhibition stands as a testament to the warmth of people, even those we will never meet.
——Curator, Peter Hagan