Hospice of Santa Barbara welcomes local photojournalist Michael Robertson, who will display his work in its Leigh Block Gallery through mid-April. On Wednesday, January 25 Hospice of Santa Barbara will host a wine and cheese open house reception for the new exhibit from 5:30-7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend this free event.
Robertson is a documentary photographer with a focus on the human condition. The exhibit will feature black and white photographs of Bangladeshi laborers, Voodoo practitioners in Haiti, lumberjacks at work in Romania, child laborers in Egypt, rickshaw wallahs in India and AIDS patients living in a hospice in Thailand. The exhibit will also feature color portraits of children from around the globe.
The experience of the AIDS patients in Thailand especially moved Robertson. While visiting a remote Buddhist temple in Thailand’s Lopburi Province, Robertson visited a sparsely equipped hospice that was opened to care for the country’s rising population of AIDS patients. The hospice is staffed by several monks and medical staff who allow the patients to die with dignity. Many AIDS patients in Thailand are dismissed by family and friends and left to fend for themselves. The monks take in these medical refugees and care for then in the last stages of the disease. They provide as much comfort, medication and spiritual guidance as they can for their patients.
“These children represent the future, and by aiding suffering and improving the world, it is their future we are benefitting,” says Robertson.
Robertson will donate a portion of the proceeds from his art sales to Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc., a volunteer hospice organization which provides free professional counseling and support services to more than 500 children and adults every month who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. For more information, please call 805/563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org .