Artist George Ligon (left) was honored with a reception at the Union County Arts Council Art Gallery on Main Street in downtown Union Thursday evening. The gallery is currently exhibiting “George Ligon Journey Down Under” which features photographs Ligon took of the landscapes, wildlife and people of Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Ligon’s work is on display at the Art Gallery through June 28. Here Ligon poses for a photo with Union resident Martha Whitener during Thursday’s reception.
"Poplar Trees 2" is one of a number of photographs Australia, New Zealand and Fiji taken by Greenwood artist George Ligon. Ligon’s work is currently on exhibit at the Union County Arts Council Art Gallery on Main Street in downtown Union and will remain on display there through June 28. Ligon took Poplar Trees 2 while on the road to Queenstown, New Zealand.
"The Original Bungee Jump" is located in New Zealand and was photographed by Greenwood artist George Ligon. The photo is one of a number Ligon took in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji that are currently on display at the Union Count Arts Council Art Gallery on Main Street in downtown Union.
This is "In The Clouds 1," a photograph of Franz Josef, New Zealand taken by Greenwood artist George Ligon. Ligon’s photos of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji are currently on display at the Union Count Arts Council Art Gallery on Main Street in downtown Union.
UNION — Greenwood artist George Ligon says that the goal of his work as an artist is to have his work speak to people and that’s exactly what happened with the photos he took in New Zealand.
Since May, the Union County Arts Council Art Gallery on Main Street has exhibited “George Ligon Journey Down Under,” a collection of part, though not all, of the photos Ligon took in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji during a summer trip he and wife, Cynthia Drakeford, took to that part of the world.
The Arts Council held a reception at the Art Gallery in Ligon’s honor Thursday evening and he and his wife were present to meet local residents and discuss his work.
Ligon said that after an earlier exhibition of his work, he received a letter from a woman who said his work had brought back memories of when she and her husband visited New Zealand.
“She wrote, ‘We were in New Zealand 20 years ago and I want to thank you for mounting this show because it brought back so many memories of our time there,” he said.
Ligon said he was delighted at the woman’s response because it is the kind of reaction he hopes his work will inspire.
“You want the art to inspire people and so that means a lot to me when my work speaks to people,” he said.
Ligon said the photos were the result of a trip he and his wife took in the summer. He said that initially they traveled as part of tour group organized by one of the region’s universities. That part of their trip took them to Australia and New Zealand. Ligon said that after that part of the trip, he and his wife decided that since they were already in that part of the South Pacific they should also visit Fiji and so they did so on their own.
“My wife and I love to travel and I’m always looking for interesting landscapes, cultures and peoples to photograph,” he said.
It turned out to be an even more interesting trip than the exhibit of his work at the Art Gallery indicates. Ligon said that the exhibit at the Art Gallery featured only part of the photos he took in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. He said there were another 20-25 photos he took, but they could not be included in the exhibit because of the amount of space needed.
Ligon’s interest in the places he visits also apparently extends to the foods served there. He said that while in Australia he had a kangaroo burger one day and the next day ate roasted kangaroo tail.
His wife and many others on the tour, however, declined to dine on those down under delicacies.
Ligon said he is now working on putting together an exhibit of photos he took in Kenya which will be called “First Encounter,” but he declined to give too many details about it beyond saying that it will depict the landscapes, wildlife, cultures and peoples of that country.
The “George Ligon Journey Down Under” exhibit will remain on display in the Union County Arts Council Art Gallery on Main Street in downtown Union through June 28. The gallery is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
For more information contact the Union County Arts Council at 864-429-2817.