Tag Archives: Backyards

Summer Re Runs: Kevin Thrasher

I’m stepping away from Lenscratch this week to work on a new personal website and prepare for upcoming photo activities…wanted to reintroduce you to some wonderful photographers featured several years ago, today with Kevin Thrasher.

Kevin Thrasher’s images have a wonderful combination of unsettling charm. He has a knack of finding moments and locations that while normal and natural, also leave room for alternate interpretations. Born in Birmingham, Alabama and now living in Richmond, Virginia, Kevin received his BFA from East Tennessee State University and his MFA from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He had a long list of exhibitions in 2010 including the forthcoming Collectors Guide to Emerging Art Photography published by the Humble Arts Foundation in NYC.

Photography seemed like the only option that I wanted to pursue in school. I wish there were a more glamorous way to talk about the choices that led me to photography, but photography was the only thing that I ever thought I really wanted to do over a lifetime. Photography made sense. Making photographs is a way for me to go out into familiar or unfamiliar places and discover things. I like going out and getting lost in a new place and making pictures there. The world is an awfully interesting place and you can make work where ever you are.

His series, Common Ground, looks at how we interact with the natural world, and the series Brown’s Island is a work in with similar themes but focusing on a specific place.

There is no pristine landscape. There is only the land that we have. We got to nature or other more socially controlled spaces to enjoy ourselves. Recreation takes us from our own backyards, to other places where we can connect with nature or experience moments of leisure.

The photographs exist in between accepted ideas of landscape and these newer more controlled spaces. People are making the best of the spaces that they have access to. Many of the locales often sustain the idea of community where people are drawn together for mutual purpose. We have come to accept these interstitial spaces as our nature.

Images from Brown’s Island

Critical Mass: Susan Worsham

Looking at portfolios from Critical Mass 2011…

I am a long time fan of Susan Worsham’s photographs. Her color palette, her ability to combine still life and portraiture, and her quiet realism of things past and present always feel genuine and true. Of the many artist’s statements (200) that I read for the Critical Mass jury process, hers was the one that stood out to me. A statement is a critical component to a photographer’s project, and Susan’s sets a tone, tells a story, draws us in, and makes us realize we are all here, but for the Grace of God.

By the Grace of God: Growing up in Virginia, my childhood field trips were to cigarette factories and civil war battlegrounds, with a brown bag lunch in tow. As a young girl I could often be found holding a dixie cup full of Kool-Aid powder, with a few drops of water, making a sweet sugary paste for finger dipping. My childhood travels were spent wandering different neighborhoods on my Schwinn, and knocking on strangers’ doors with those same sticky fingers. I can remember one such house, where I knocked on the door to ask if I could jump on the trampoline in the front yard. It was the Gibson Girls’ trampoline, the descendants of Charles Dana Gibson, the famous illustrator. He drew the ideal woman of the early 1900’s, coined the Gibson Girl. I became a constant bouncing fixture on their lawn.

Untitled

This series takes me beyond the backyards and trails of my youth. It deals with the hospitality of strangers, and hits on a feeling that I have sometimes when taking portraits. The feeling that I was supposed to meet a particular person, or turn down a certain road. The title is taken from the old saying “American By Birth, Southern By The Grace Of God”. The images are made up of the places, and characters, that I believe, I have found through a sort of divine intervention. They are strangers, that invite me into their homes, to sit awhile and hear their stories. Characters that are real, and not imagined by the literary greats of the south.

Family, Fourth Of July, Syracuse, NY

Golden Silver

Casket Storage, Va

Man With Snake, Syracuse, NY

Wild Plums

Used Car Lot Holy Bible

Church Storage, Va

Woman In Shed, Syracuse, NY

Destiny, Grandmother’s Roses, Va.