October 2018 featured artist

Dawn Lake

Rye Art Study Group Presents Dawn Lake

The Rye Art Study group is pleased to present: “Out from Under the Veil: Glimpses of Afghanistan,” a talk by retired Army Officer Lieutenant Colonel Dawn Lake. Our October featured speaker, Lake’s talk will feature striking images of Afghanistan and will explain her artistic process.

Lake, a Military Intelligence officer, served with the US Army for 26 years. She is also a paratrooper. Her myriad postings culminated in a combat tour in Afghanistan from 2003-2004. During her one-year stint at Bagram Airbase, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Lake served as a special intelligence advisor to the commanding general of the coalition task force hunting Al Qaeda.

“My photos are an attempt to capture the unique nature of this war-torn country,” says Lake. “The Afghan people have been at war for so long the effort has left them in tatters. Warlords still rule the villages and towns. Children wear what they can get – a boy in a pink sweater, a little girl clomping by in purple plastic boots. Sheep and goats roam the streets; camels in long trains plod down the middle of the main roads. Rubbish, crumbling ruins and burned-out Soviet tanks litter the landscape. “Jingle” trucks roar past belching smoke, festooned with metal chains that tinkle as they sway, lumbering under staggering loads of bales of hay, sacks of grain, turbaned men, barefoot boys. Cars often have their livestock crammed inside. The air is thick with pollution; the throat burns, the eyes water. Thousands of trucks, cars, tuck-tucks, bikes, and jingle buses jam the streets. Most haunting is that women still wear the burka – a pale blue floor-length robe that covers head, face and body – shapeless beings, identical but invisible, tottering through the dirt, one foot in the 21st century, the other much further behind.”

Lake took the pictures using an old, 1.3 mega-pixel camera. Due to the conditions under which she had to operate – swirling dust, convoys speeding down pot-hole riddled dirt roads, the constant threat of ambush and road-side bombs – Lake snapped the pictures through dirty windshields, during dust storms or while hanging out the window of a Humvee. Aerial shots were taken from Chinook or Apache helicopters. The photos are rendered using digital manipulation – essential for bringing the grainy, dusty and often blurry pictures alive.

Please join us on Monday, October 15th, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. to see Lake’s amazing presentation. This event is free and open to the public. The Rye Art Study Group gathers the third Monday of most months at the Rye Congregational Church at 580 Washington Rd. Rye, NH 03870. Visit http://www.ryeartstudy.com or e-mail: ryeartstudy@gmail.com for more information.

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