Saturday, June 18, 2011

 "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste;
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long-since-cancelled woe,
And moan th' expense of many a vanished sight;
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before."

"...artists need a room with no view
a place where imagination can meet memory
in the dark."
Anne Dillard

This conjunction of imagination and memory has been on my mind a lot lately.  A symptom of age when so little lies ahead when compared with what we have left behind.  The perspective from this point in my life of my past.  I remember when I took this picture in June of 1970 and I was just 16. Near the beautiful old Library in Portland I was sitting on a stone bench resting in the shadow of these large elms and saw this lone figure walking slowly up the street about to emerge from the shadow and in to the light seemed to me at the time rich in symbolism.  I felt a connection to that person.  I still have the negative and I only made one print that was too large to put on my scanner so I think I have to revisit it. I look at it now and it's a little window with a view in to the past a negative is a physical manifestation of a memory that in the darkroom you can conjure up that moment in time that links the present to the distant past in a way that memory cannot.  I still take new pictures.  I even have a roll of film I need to develop but lately these old images are what I am drawn too. 
A couple of years ago I wrote in this blog about visiting a gallerist with a portfolio of my pictures to see if she might be interested in showing me.  She wasn't.  She was though one of the first people that I showed one of these old images too and I confessed that I found something very powerful about them.  She dismissed it as a bit of fun but that I should keep them to myself.  I was a bit hurt because I really felt there was something powerful and fresh in them that my current work lacked.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like photography, but obviously have no experiance, and I don't know if these words will really help, buy you have helped me out in the past... I think your pictures are awesome. They capture time and place, and they allow people to either relive memories, or for someone like me, learn a little bit about what the world was like before I was born The lady who looked at your portfolio looked past all that and honestly.. her loss! Keep doing what you love, you have a really neat thing going, don't let anything get in the way.

12:50 PM  

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