Monday, September 19, 2011

Remains to be Seen. Book now available.

Remains to be Seen Book Pay-Pal link

Proof pages (Remains to be Seen book)

Proof pages (Remains to be Seen book)

Proof pages (Remains to be Seen book)

Proof pages (Remains to be Seen book)

For the last 2 months I have been working on producing a book based on my photo-series 'Remains to be Seen'. After several hitches the book is now published and I finally picked it up from the printers on Friday. It was a huge learning experience for me and it was my first venture into self publishing a portfolio of my photographic work. It contains two poems and 60 photographs over 70 pages and printed in a limited edition of 100 copies which are all signed and numbered. This book is now available to order via the link below using Paypal:

To order a copy please follow this link, thank you:

‘Remains to be Seen’ is a personal work which explores grief, loss and memory and the emotional impact these experiences have had on the way I have come to perceive the world here in the present. It’s a book of clues, keys, symbols, echoes and traces. Like latent fingerprints lifted from the psyche - made thousands of miles away from the graves of which it speaks of and recorded several years ‘after the facts’. Because of a lack of direct access to perhaps more concrete ‘evidence’ which still remains stored in a barn in England, a basement in Norway and a spare bedroom in Wales, this book has become very much a history of the present. Because of this, my only resources for making this work have been internal in nature - accompanied by a certain awareness, like a frequency that was tuned into and the series as a whole has been, to some extent, something of a ghost hunt. The sad events which have silently surrounded this project have consequently altered who I am today in ways which I am still discovering and has been part of the secret drive behind the books creation. It is not an exorcism because the possession (if this is what it is to be called) is permanent - dissolved into the self and is present more as an evolution in progress. There are seven stages of grief and this book, I believe, marks for me its final stage; Acceptance.

Follow this link to view a slideshow to the complete series:


Monday, September 12, 2011

ST ALBANS & WEST VIRGINIA. SOME PSYCHO-GEOGRAPHICAL FIELD NOTES (II)

St Albans, WV

We pull over into the first Motel we see in St Albans. It was dark and the scattered streetlights had flickered on with a low sodium glow. In the office I was met by a friendly but slightly suspicious desk clerk of faded beauty and the first question she asks was if we were local or from out of town. This question stuck me as odd and when I asked her about it she picked her words carefully telling me she always liked to keep the locals and visitors separated and it was with this information she would use to choose our room. She was obviously hiding something and though she was genuinely glad to see us, her smile was nervous. Outside I began to understand why the clerk asked us this question as I started to see a few of these locals shuffling around in the darkness just beyond the streetlights dim illumination, half shrouded in the shadow, with wild unkempt beards, wearing dirty disheveled clothes and flashing their dark but fearful eyes in our direction “like Zombies” my brother whispered as we got back into the car.

Passenger

Our rooms were located on the far side of the motel, detached from the main block and were comfortable clean and ordinary and we were happy to find them this way. After unpacking my brother and I left in search of food leaving my wife and mother in the room to settle in. Instead of backtracking on the Charleston road we decided to dive on further into the darkness of St Albans on route 60 and on a five mile drive found nothing open, but a long scattered line of neon-lit ‘Gentleman’s Clubs’, Adult Video stores and a biker bar which advertised it’s latest act on the roadside verge outside, simply as ‘Toothless Ruth’. All these dubious establishments had beat up cars and trucks parked untidily outside, all with their front wheels turned tightly inwards, as though they had swung in off the main road and parked in a hurry. There was not a soul to be seen anywhere. After driving some distance deeper into the dense forest darkness we rounded a corner and slowed down to take a closer look at what was called the ‘Playboy Motel’ which was a clap trap two story place, lit with buzzing neon, with a balcony which ran it’s length between the floors where bulging MILF’s in lingerie leaned over languidly blowing smoke into the insect infected night. On the ground floor the main entrance was guarded by a heavy man in a dark suit sitting in a chair, who surveyed the road like a machine and clocked us as we passed with hooded eyebrows. The place looked busy and I was instantly put in mind of ‘Ben’s Place’ from the David Lynch movie classic Blue Velvet. My brother and I looked at one another smiling in disbelief. “Where in god’s name are we?” he said.

St Albans, WV

After another stretch of darkness we eventually saw that unmistakable sign for McDonalds ahead of us, high up on a long pole above the tree line, ‘The Golden Arches’ as I have heard them referred to here with hideous affection. As we turned left into the shadowy strip mall where the ‘restaurant’ was located, I noticed that to our right, sitting on the river bank was some kind of military monument in the form a great cruse missile on a large stone plinth. It stood against the clear star filled night sky like some great erect penis, with its swollen bulbous war-head. This was a grotesquely fitting sight to behold after the drive we had just taken and the sights we had seen along the way.

Waitress (II)

Pulling into McDonald's, scantly dressed toothless teens chased each other around parked cars hissing at each other and cackling and inside we were met by a friendly waitress with a soft southern accent, who, recognizing our own accents, asked us lots of questions about where we were from and where it was we were heading, welcoming us to St Albans West Virginia with an almost poker face, which afterwards broke into a smile of long yellow teeth. We told her about our journey from the motel in search of food, this time with our own questions, and she began to tell us of the altogether more sinister town of Nitro which was located close by in what she referred to as ‘Chemical Valley’ and that Nitro was the true local den of iniquity which made St Albans look like nothing at all in comparison. Nitro was named after the nitro-glycerin powder and other explosives which it was the leading producer of during both world wars. Nitro, I later discovered, was also, strangely, the location of several sightings of the infamous and mysterious ‘Mothman’, a West Virginian legend who was said to be a tall and metallic looking supernatural or alien creature with shining red eyes and a giant 10 foot wingspan. The origin of this creature still remains obscure for me, but over the years has become the subject and inspiration for at least two Hollywood movies and the city is said to boast an impressive monument to it, based on its few eye witness accounts.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ground Zero (With Time)


Ground Zero (With Time)

This image is part of a failed series I made titled "WAS HERE". My intention was to photograph this particular issue of Time Magazine in as many different locations as I possibly could on my recent road trip from NYC to Kansas - from Airplanes and Airports, various tourist destinations, in Diners, Gas Stations and Motels and in all the cities and small towns I visited or passed though on our journey home. Sadly though, for many reasons, the project didn't work out . Although I found the initial idea for the series a powerful one, the images I made were unfortunately, on the whole, uninteresting and somewhat contrived to me, so it was abandoned. This picture was made at Ground Zero in NYC.

Today is September 11th and I post this photograph in memory of those that lost their lives.