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IN SEARCH OF THE FRIGHTENING AND BEAUTIFUL is my ongoing motorcycle journey and nomadic art project. It began in 2013 with an invitation to the BoxoHOUSE artists’ residency program in Joshua Tree, CA, and I have since traveled over 38,000 miles around the United States, Mexico, Central and South America. Through it, I have left over 45 hand-embroidered art works across the western hemisphere for people to randomly encounter, take and keep. On the road I take pictures and record experiences. Then I stop for a while to distill it all into a new body of work.

A motorcycle is unlike any other mode of transportation. When in motion it and its rider cut through space like a knife, exposed and unprotected. Machine and human are therefore one, physically a part of the environment through which they pass.

This project is motivated by a need for connection and understanding in a world governed too frequently by fear, ignorance and mistrust. In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful crosses geographic and cultural boundaries, leaving bits of humanity in its wake in the form of intimate, painstakingly-made gestures let loose in the landscape, set adrift in the world to change hands, context and meaning.

Conceived through the act of riding a motorcycle, this venture embraces risk and vulnerability to record and testify to the “frightening and beautiful”: to the coincidences, contradictions and struggles that reveal the essence of human experience. With a little bit of luck, it will eventually make its way around the world.

For the most current updates, check out the ISFB Facebook page and my news page; more information and in-depth writings can be found on its blog. If you would like information on the first edition of In Search of the Frightening & Beautiful Book, contact me.

-HLJ



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