UFO Encounters: The Artistic Journey of Caryline Boreham!

Award-winning artist and Whitecliffe Fine Arts Lecturer Caryline Boreham delves into New Zealand’s legendary UFO sightings, including the 1978 Kaikōura Lights. Since 2016, she has transformed her research into stunning photographs, moving images, and zines, exploring how people react to these mysterious encounters.

If you're fascinated by UFOs and art, Caryline Boreham's work will captivate you. Since 2016, this award-winning artist and Whitecliffe Fine Arts Lecturer has dived into New Zealand’s most legendary UFO sightings, including the famous 1978 Kaikōura Lights.

Caryline's research has led to stunning photographs, moving images, and zines. She's showcased her work in three exhibitions and is now compiling it into a book. But don't expect typical flying saucers and aliens. Instead, Caryline explores the human reactions to these mysterious sightings.

“I’m interested in the psychology of seeing,” Caryline explains. “It’s not about whether UFOs are real, but how people describe and react to their encounters.”

Her interest sparked at a UFO meeting in Auckland, where she noticed the unique Kiwi approach to these phenomena. “In America, everything is sensationalized, but New Zealanders are more circumspect.”

The New Zealand Defence Force has been keeping UFO records since 1952, and Caryline focused on the period from 1955 to 2000. She found the letters people sent to the Defence Force fascinating for their sincerity and straightforwardness.

“People would say things like, ‘I don’t want any publicity, I’m just letting you know what I saw.’ The Defence Force responded to almost every letter, though they became more skeptical over time.”

Regarding her own beliefs, Caryline says, “I’m on the fence. I used to be more of a believer, but now I’m a curious sceptic. It’s likely there’s other life out there, but are they visiting us? I don’t know.”

What intrigues Caryline most is how some people are more open to the idea of UFOs than others. “Some people just believe there’s more to the world, and that’s exciting.”

Caryline Boreham's work invites us to consider UFO sightings not just as mysterious events but as reflections of human curiosity and perception. Her art shows that the most compelling part of UFO stories might be the people who tell them.

This article was written based on the article "Kaikōura lights: considering a close encounter" written by Vanessa Trethewey.

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