Tag Archives: Curiosity

Philip Heying, 1223 Pennsylvania Street seen from the alley

Philip Heying, 1223 Pennsylvania Street seen from the alley

Philip Heying

1223 Pennsylvania Street seen from the alley,
Lawrence, Kansas, 2012
From the Within a two mile radius for one year series
Website – PhilipHeying.com

Philip Heying is a photographer living in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1980, he met William S. Burroughs and began a friendship that endured until Burroughs’s death in 1997. Burroughs and his circle of friends, from Albert Hoffman and Allen Ginsberg, to Brion Gysin and Timothy Leary provided artistic insight and guidance. Soon after college, curiosity to experience another culture led Heying to France, via coal freighter. Since then his work has been exhibited and published internationally. Heying returned to the U.S. in 1997, settling in Brooklyn, New York, and became an assistant to Irving Penn until the Spring of 2001. In the fall of 2008, he returned from Brooklyn to Kansas to live closer to his family and pursue an idea for a photographic survey that began during a visit in the fall of 2005. He is currently employed as a professor of photography at Johnson County Community College and recently completed a body of photographs of the surprising variety of architecture, cultural and environmental processes to be found within walking distance from his home.

Love The One You’re With

image by Aline Smithson

I’ve been on the road since September, visiting photo festivals across the country and I’ve been thinking a lot about the experiences and the photographers I have met and wanted to share some thoughts. I have to say, it’s an amazing community, filled with good will, curiosity, passion, and really, really good people.  I think there is something special about those who use a visual language, who are reinterpreting the world close-up and far away.  I left each event filled up with friendships, with images, with experiences that make this journey a richer one.

I have always told my students that it is equally important to meet fellow photographers at these events, and not to solely focus on meeting with people that they think might change one’s career. Sometimes at photo events, photographers can be a bit myopic and self-focused, trying to tug on the sleeve of important reviewers. They don’t realize that those who don’t make it all about themselves, benefit the most–and often times, it will be a peer that makes something happen in their career. More has come to me, and to my career, from my relationships with other photographers than from anywhere else–the evidence of this statement seems profoundly evident after my recent travels–just looking at this fall, almost every invitation came from a relationship with a photographer.

I truly marvel at how many photographers are changing the photographic landscape by giving their time and energies to promote work that is not their own. Photographer Scott B. Davis created the Medium  Festival of Photography in San Diego this September, photographer Sarah Hadley created the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago, I went to the SW Regional SPE conference, all run by photographers.  I attended Fotoweek DC started by Theo Adamstein (a photographer) and was invited to teach at the event by photographer E. Brady Robinson who I had traveled with in China.  Photographers Jennifer Shaw, Millie Fuller, and Lori Waselchuk, privotal players at PhotoNola, not only invited me to teach a workshop and review, but Jen helped me secure a gallery in New Orleans.

As I sat in the portfolio reviewing room at Photo Nola, I looked over at Blue Mitchell, a fellow photographer who started Diffusion Magazine, a publication that features historical and non-traditional ways of approaching photography, then I looked at photographer Gordon Stettinius who has not only become a publisher, but opened Candela Gallery and is working on creating a significant collection of photographs for gallery.  I looked at photographer Bryan Formhals who  champions the online community (especially Flickr) and has celebrated many image makers in his terrific LPV Magazine.

At the Medium Festival photographer Susan Burnstine found work to celebrate in her articles for Black and White Magazine (UK), photographer David Bram reviewed as editor of Fraction Magazine and in Chicago, photographer Kevin Miyazaki looked for new work for his amazing Collect.Give program and photographer Christy Karpinski reviewed for her long time publication, F Stop Magazine. Photographer Russell Joslin also reviewed for his labor of love, SHOTS Magazine which he has edited for years, photographer Bill Schwab shared his sage insights from years behind the lens and as a workshop educator and photographer Kyohei Abe reviewed for the Detroit Center of Photography where he is now the director. And there are more that I am sure I am forgetting.

I am not diminishing all the amazing curators, editors, and gallerists that make up our photography community, but I wanted to recognize the tremendous support that photographers lend to each other, often without recognition or financial compensation of any sort.

So next time you are at a photo or review event, remember that the person sitting next to you clutching their portfolio box, just might change your life one day.

“Re-Visioning” – Rebecca Norris Webb’s My Dakota

“Re-Visioning” - Rebecca Norris Webb’s My Dakota

A conversation with Darius Himes & David Chickey

Editor's Note: I'm a Midwesterner so when I learned about Rebecca Norris Webb's My Dakota the project immediately caught my eye. It's one of my favorite photobooks published in 2012 and I'm thrilled to share her images and ideas with you here. For more information and to order a copy for your home library, visit RadiusBooks.org. — AA


Darius Himes: Becky, you grew up in South Dakota, correct? Why did you leave?

Rebecca Norris Webb: I was born in a Rushville, Indiana, and then moved to South Dakota when I was 15. Looking back, it may very well have been my first glimpse of those Western skies of South Dakota — from the backseat of my dad’s 1964 Chrysler 300 — that later turned me into a color photographer. I’d never seen skies so spectacularly blue, except perhaps in Technicolor Westerns. Those big, seemingly endless blue Great Plains skies spoke to the daydreamer I was then — and the photographer I am today.

After I finished a master’s degree in poetry from the University of South Dakota, for some reason my poetry deserted me. Looking back, I realize that perhaps the kind of lyric poetry I was writing during college had become too restrictive, too limiting. It didn’t contain enough of the world, and my curiosity about it. To break through the writer’s block, I decided to apply for a passport and travel for a year, buying a camera in order to take “visual notes” for perhaps a future project. What happened instead is that I fell in love with photography. It was only after taking a year of photography classes in Seattle and in New York, however, that I had an epiphany: I realized that the eye that took the photographs was the same eye that saw the images in my poetry. I think the Nebraska photographer and writer, Wright Morris, said it best: “I don’t give up the camera eye when I write, merely the camera.”

David Chickey: What was your original plan or vision for your My Dakota?

Rebecca Norris Webb: When I started the project, all I knew for sure then was that I’d lived in New York City for some 15 years and still described myself — in the writer Dawn Powell's words — as “a permanent visitor” because New York had never quite felt like home. Photographing that first year in South Dakota, I remember being a little overwhelmed trying to work in that vast landscape with a small format camera. I considered switching to a larger format, until I realized that one of the things that intrigued me most about the Great Plains was the challenge of trying to capture a more spontaneous and intimate vision of the West, a vision akin to the vision of some of the women writers from the region like Willa Cather from Nebraska, Louise Erdrich from North Dakota, and Marilynne Robinson from Idaho. For Robinson, the West is “mysterious, aloof, and rapturously gentle.” Photographing the prairies and badlands that first summer, I was hoping to capture a sense of what all that space feels like to someone who grew up there.

Darius Himes: Living on the Great Plains involves a great deal of driving to do, well, basically anything. You've mentioned that you think of this as a "road-trip" book, a genre that has a long and storied history in photography. Tell us about how this book fits into that tradition.

Rebecca Norris Webb: Well, to begin with, this project began with a road trip in 2005: Alex and I drove from our Brooklyn neighborhood to my hometown in Hot Springs, South Dakota, a journey of some 1700 miles, in our old Saab, which we’d bartered photographic prints for earlier that year. Alex then flew back East, and I had a summer to explore my home state photographically. I’ve learned over the years to follow wherever a project may lead me, so I don’t think I consciously thought that My Dakota would necessarily become a road-trip book like The Americans, although photographing in the West brought to mind some of my favorite Frank photographs, such as “Butte, Montana, 1956,” which he photographed through the sheer curtains of his hotel room’s window.

I’ve always marveled at how Frank managed to capture not only the feel of this Montana mining town’s drab downtown, but also a sense of something else more complicated and difficult to pin down (Melancholy? Irony? Reverie? A mix of all three?), something that suggests a kind of complex interiority of the poetic Swiss-born Frank as he gazed out from his hotel room at the bleak reality of what the once legendary American West had become by the mid 1950’s. It’s a view that shouldn’t “merit a second glance,” according to the cultural critic Geoff Dyer, yet “it demands that we return to it again and again.” For me, that’s usually a clue that I’m looking at a truly poetic image.

Robert Frank, Butte, Montana, 1956

Robert Frank, Butte, Montana, 1956.

The second year of my South Dakota project, however, one of my brothers died unexpectedly of heart failure, and everything changed. All of a sudden, my need to drive through the badlands and prairies of my home state and photograph became heightened, fueled by an overwhelming restlessness, which was my initial and surprising response to the first death of an immediate family member. I say surprising because I don’t normally like to drive. And I was always getting lost — in badlands and prairies, in hard rains and heat waves. Lost and loss. For months.

As I worked deeper into the project, I didn’t feel quite so alone when I ran across other grieving South Dakotans who’d experienced the same restless need to drive — and who’d also gotten lost repeatedly, even in familiar terrain. “Maybe the grieving should be prohibited from driving and wear a large red A on their chests — like Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter,” said a woman rancher with a wry smile. “Or perhaps a red, Triple A!” added a South Dakota widow with a laugh.

By the end of that second year, my original vision of My Dakota had expanded well beyond the original borders of those intimate Western landscapes to encompass also my car, the road, and my entire circuitous road trip while grieving for my brother. It was just dawning on me then that if I were working on some sort of variation of the road-trip book, it wasn’t just the poetic Frank’s “Butte, Montana, 1956,” that was, figuratively speaking, coming along with me for the ride. I was also bringing along some of my favorite road-trip poems, whose tension, vitality — and sometimes even epiphany — often arise from the dynamic between driving down the open road and the stopped vehicle: “Two forces — one forward moving, unthinking, one stilled and reflective — connect and disconnect us; the uneasy match seems profoundly American,” notes the poet Marianne Boruch. Some of my favorite road-trip poems include M. Wyrebek’s “Night Owl,” William Stafford’s “Traveling Through the Dark,” and Emily Dickinson’s famous carriage ride that begins,

Because I could not stop for Death ––
He kindly stopped for me ––
The Carriage held but just Ourselves ––
And Immortality.

David Chickey: For me, one of the biggest design challenges with this book was picking a cover image, especially since there are so many great images in this body of work. Can you write a bit about how we settled on the one we did — and how it helps to set the mood of the book as it relates to a road-trip theme?

Rebecca Norris Webb: Early last year, Alex and I had halfheartedly chosen “Blackbirds” as the cover of our rough, homemade book dummy, but we weren’t convinced it had the right feel for the cover. Besides, we’d been humbled more than once by your amazing cover designs, David — such as your startling double fold-out front-and-back covers for our joint book on Cuba, Violet Isle. Alex and I have learned over the years to trust your design sense, which often illuminates our work in ways that neither Alex nor I — as photographers — could possibly do.

So last fall, we were both surprised and pleased when you showed us your cover design at the Radius offices in Santa Fe. You said that since the book was in essence the road trip of my grief through the South Dakota landscape, it made sense to start the journey with an image of my car in the Badlands. Additionally, underneath this dust jacket, “State Map” was printed on the book itself, because — as you also explained to us — I’d need a road map for my journey, too. Taken together, these two images felt like the right beginning for My Dakota — like an open car door inviting viewers/readers along for the ride.

Rebecca Norris Webb My Dakota Cover Spread

"State Map," PLC (printed laminated cover) beneath the My Dakota dust jacket

Darius Himes: My Dakota is dedicated to your brother, who passed away. How does he figure into this project?

Rebecca Norris Webb: I guess I’d say that My Dakota is filled with his absence.

And looking back now, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps this road trip of my grief for him — which seems out-of-character for me, someone who’s never liked to drive — was in part inspired by his — and his identical twin brother’s — love of cars and road trips.

David Chickey: I think it's likely clear to anyone who reads the text here that you have a background as a poet. But I think it's rare to find an artist who so eloquently blends text and images. Can you perhaps explain the process a bit? How does one inform the other — or does it?

Rebecca Norris Webb: When I see an image that intrigues me for some reason, my first response is to photograph it. Since I still use film, it’s often weeks later when I first look at the contact sheet. Maybe it’s the poet in me, but more and more I’m beginning to realize that this waiting period is more important than I ever realized. It’s hard to explain, but something happens to this image in my mind’s eye while I’m waiting for its unidentical twin — the image on the piece of film I photographed — to be developed. The image floats for a few weeks in the back of my mind, and all the while it’s being bathed in all kind of associations — conscious and unconscious. So I guess you could say that two very different kinds of development are going on during this rich, fertile waiting period, and both play a role in my final intuitive editing process.

I call my intuitive editing process “re-vision” because it’s similar to the way I revise poetry. This “re-vision” process — both for editing text and images — is based on a kind a faith that my images are wiser than I am. It can take me weeks, months, and sometimes even years to uncover and to decipher what an image is trying to say to me. One of the first clues that I’ve stumbled upon the book’s main metaphor is when I find myself writing about the same image I’ve already photographed. My writing tends to lag behind my photography. Over the years, I’ve had to learn to be patient with the more erratic rhythm of my writing, which reminds me of a meandering, willful Labrador retriever that can’t help but vanish from my side from time to time, in order to follow a particularly delectable scent into the deep, lush woods.

Another clue to my uncovering a book’s central metaphor is purely intuitive, and hence more difficult to describe. It involves sensing which image resonates with enough of the emotional and metaphysical weight of a project — and, simultaneously, which image is also buoyed by enough luminosity and vibrancy — to lift the image up into the realm of metaphor. And how does an image lift up into metaphor, the poetic term which literally means “carrying over”? “One should be light like a bird, and not like a feather,” according to the French poet Paul Valery.

Rebecca Norris Webb My Dakota Title Spread

Darius Himes: Is there a narrative element to this book? Do we go from Point A to Point B? Or is there a different type of road implied?

Rebecca Norris Webb: During the darkest time of my grief for my older brother, Dave, I didn’t turn to photography books for solace, but to poetry. It was my first loss of an immediate family member, which some equate to first love, because you are never quite the same afterwards. Some of the only poems that spoke to me during those difficult first months were villanelles (non-linear poems that resist narrative development): Theodore Roethke’s “The Waking” and Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art.” Each refrain is repeated four times — like Bishop’s ironic refrain, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master” — and each time, the refrain’s meaning shifts, stumbles, circles back, deepens.

If those villanelles hadn’t spoken to me when I was most grief struck, perhaps I wouldn’t have followed the strong pull of My Dakota’s repeated images — apples, deer, waves, brown coat, prairie — both in my photographs and in my spare text pieces, and found the book’s elegiac structure. If those villanelles hadn’t spoken to me when I was most grief struck, perhaps I wouldn’t have trusted My Dakota’s meandering, repetitious structure, which echoes the circuitous journey of my own grieving mind and heart trying — over and over and over and over again — to inhabit the contradiction, as the poet Rilke would say, of my brother’s death and my family’s very much alive love for him.

David Chickey: There is an intimacy to this book that, for me, is heightened by the use of your handwritten text. This is something we talked about quite a bit in the design process, and you were a bit resistant to it in the beginning. Are you getting more comfortable with seeing your own handwriting now? And how have people responded to it in the printed book?

Rebecca Norris Webb: Yes, initially I was very resistant, because I’ve always been self-conscious about my rather loopy handwriting. I slowly came around, however, after I found — quite by accident — an example of Emily Dickinson’s handwriting in a book of essays that I had bought. I just assumed her handwriting would be as compact and as exact as her poetry. Instead, I was startled to find Dickinson also had a rather loopy handwriting! One spare poem was often scrawled over two or three pages. Her handwriting wasn’t at all what I expected. It told me something about her that wasn’t evident in her poetry on the printed page. I continue to be surprised by the enthusiastic response to my handwriting in the book. My favorite comment came from Magdalena Herrera, a friend who’s the Director of Photography at Geo in Paris. My handwriting’s long, sweeping strokes reminded Magdalena of “those tall grasses on the prairie.”

Rebecca Norris Webb My Dakota Handwriting Layout

David Chickey: You and Alex (Becky's husband Alex Webb) work so collaboratively — yet in such a unique way. I think readers would be interested in your process, and the role that Alex plays.

Rebecca Norris Webb: If, for instance, I’m the author of the book — like with My Dakota — I do the first sequence for the book dummy, and then Alex takes a look and tells me what he thinks. We learned over the years that it’s necessary to be tough on each other’s work. Our friend, the artist Joyce Kozloff — who is married to another friend, the art critic and photographer, Max Kozloff — says the most difficult journey her work makes is the trip from her studio out her front door, because Max always weighs in first before her work is released into the world.

Fortunately, one of our house rules is that the author always has the last word. Perhaps that’s why our marriage has survived as long as it has, and why our collaborative projects — such as this new one we’re slowly wading into in the U.S. — are much trickier to navigate…

Live From Mars: Interactive 360 Panorama from the Curiosity Rover

Image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

A note to viewers: LightBox suggests viewing the panorama in full-screen mode. For visitors on a mobile device or tablet, we recommend utilizing our versions optimized for a fully immersive experience: 

iPAD version iPHONE version

Taking pictures on another world has never been just point and click. For decades, unmanned probes from Earth have been venturing to distant planets, moons and other bodies—and for just as many decades, the images they have sent home have been composed and transmitted in a decidedly painstaking way. That is especially so in the case of the 360-degree panorama NASA is now releasing of the Curiosity rover’s landing site in Mars’s Gale Crater.

Even on Earth, you have to be selective when you photograph a landscape. After all, no matter how glorious your picture of one part of the Grand Canyon is, it by definition leaves out countless other, equally glorious parts. The only way to capture the whole sweep of the place is to take many small images and bit by bit, piece them all together. That’s hard enough when the camera is in your hand. Now imagine doing it when all of your hardware is 154 million miles away and the data has to be streamed back you in a comparative trickle that, even moving at light speed, takes 17 minutes to get here.

(See more: Inside Look at the Mars Curiosity Rover)

But NASA did just that to produce its full pirouette picture of the Marscape that surrounds Curiosity. The panorama was built from 30 smaller images shot by the rover’s Navcams—or navigation cameras—on Aug. 18 and Aug. 7. Each picture has a resolution of 1,024 pixels by 1,024 pixels, and all of them have been combined in such a way that the seams connecting them disappear. The lighter colored strip at the top right of the image is the rim of Gale Crater—chosen as the landing site because it was once a deep sea. Also visible is the peak of nearby Mount Sharp, which rises 3.4 mi. (5.5 km) into the rust-red sky. The portions of the picture in the Martian sky that appear gray are parts of the mosaic that have not yet been added, but will be the next time NASA updates the image.

As their name implies, the Navcams are used mostly for reconnaissance purposes—scouting out where the rover will drive and mapping the best route to get there. They were thus not designed with beauty in mind—and that means they shoot only in black and white. The cameras mounted atop Curiosity’s mast capture the full range of desert-like colors that define the brutally beautiful Gale Crater environment. The entire suite of on-board cameras will have a lot of work to do in the two years ahead—and every picture they take will be one worth saving. Once the rover starts rolling, after all, it will never be staying in any one place for long.

(Related: Window on Infinity: Pictures from Space)

Photo Shows – Debby Besford’s series The Boudoir of the Burlesque Performer on show at The Queen of Hungary Norwich

There is no particular order to the photographs. It is intended that the viewer spend time looking at the details of each interior, finding clues that only scratch the surface of the performer’s true identity. Debby Besford, The Boudoir of the Burlesque Performer

All photos © Debby Besford

Before I get accused of being London-centric, I’m delighted to let you know that photographer Debby Besford, who I met three years ago in Arles where I first saw this project, is exhibiting work from her series The Boudoir of the Burlesque Performer at theThe Queen of Hungary (what a fitting name) in Norwich. The show is open from 12-5pm and runs until 8 July. The work is also available as a book on Blurb.

In Besford’s artist’s statement she notes that: “These documentary photographs show the private interiors of the performers’ bedrooms. They play on the idea of what is real and what is fictional. The home-based domestic interiors are in themselves a theatre where the lives of the performers take on a different persona.

“Collaboration with these women has been a journey of immense trust and respect. I did not seek to deconstruct the female performer stereotype or their bedrooms but to explore how these women have taken on total responsibility for the acceptance of their image as well as the fantasies linked to public representation of their ‘acted bodies’.

“My work investigates a complexity of issues about the representation of the contemporary female, with emphasis on the Burlesque Stage Performer. This naturally led onto questioning both the idea of play between photographer, private space, intimacy, fantasy and the real, as well as the mystique of the performer.” From Besford’s artist statement

To see and read more…

“This body of work has evolved from a deep-rooted curiosity about female sexuality and how this can be expressed in a positive way. The New Burlesque Revival in the 21st Century could be seen as a reaction to women wanting to have fun with their sexuality and celebrate their femininity through a staged persona.

“The attraction for many of these women is that there is no dominant male structure behind these shows and full social and economic autonomy for these women is completely unlike a striptease artist. Both physical and moral integrity are preserved. Burlesque does not involve total nudity.”

All photos © Debby Besford

Filed under: Documentary photography, Photographers, Photography Shows, Women Photographers Tagged: burlesque, Debby Besford, documentary, Norwich, photo show, portraits, The Boudoir of the Burlesque Performer, The Queen of Hungary

Martin Parr: Picturing the American South

The High Museum of Art commissioned Martin Parr to document Atlanta as part of its Picturing the South project—a series of artist commissions that engage with the American South. Channeling his unparalleled ability to collate humor, wit, and curiosity into his heavily socio-cultural photographs, Parr captured the oddities and eccentricities of contemporary Americana.

British-born Parr, whose photography career spans over 30 years, is known for his provocative documentary style by using cultural criticism through an exaggerated and humorous light. His analysis of how we live is not simply satire, as Parr offers his audience an approach to seeing which acts not to denounce, but to highlight (both aesthetically and thematically) patterns between people, the things we consume and the milieus in which we live.

The outcome of the museum’s commission offers a vivid, comedic and touching perspective on the diversity that lies in Atlanta. Parr covers a large body of subject matter in his findings, which ranges from the high and low—juxtaposing images from a gallery opening to an oddly lengthy corn dog on a stick. Parr’s images offer insight which would only be found through the lens of a meticulous and curious outsider.

Beyond the exhibition at the High Museum of Art, Italian publisher Contrasto released a book, Up and Down Peachtree: Photographs of Atlantaand a documetary, Hot Spots: Martin Parr in the American South. The book, a meticulously edited and impeccably designed object in its own right, is printed without text beyond the book’s title and colophon—which, undeniably, is a testament to Parr’s talent for storytelling. The documentary is a 60-minute lens behind the lens where documentarian Neal Broffman followed Parr photographing around Atlanta. The documentary includes interviews with noted curators, writers, critics and photographers, and offers a look into at Parr’s real-life affable personality and interactions with his subjects. Below, Contrasto has given LightBox an exclusive clip on the documentary:

Martin Parr’s photographs are on view now through September 9, 2012, as part of Picturing the South: New Commissions from the High Museum of Art. Up and Down Peachtree and Hot Spots: Martin Parr in the American South are both available for purchase online.

Cynthia Henebry

Most of us think back to our childhoods with an idealized perspective . We remember days of innocence and bliss, days without worry, without responsibilities, backyard fun, favorite candies, and summers that seemed to stretch into infinity.  But in reality, childhood is charged with complexity.  There are periods of loneliness and insecurity, apprehension and terror. Virginia photographer Cynthia Henebry explores that side of childhood with her terrific portraits of children in a Waking State.

Cynthia might be considered somewhat of an expert to explore this terrain:
I was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1973, the first of only
2 children my parents would have together, though I later came to have 7 step
(then ex-step) siblings, and 2 half brothers, whom I still have. They are 6 and
I have 31 first cousins (44 if
you count their spouses, which I do), and approximately 2 million second
cousins. My husband and I adopted our 2 sons at birth, and we have relationships
with both of their birth families, whom we consider to be our extended family
as well. I don’t think I mentioned my in laws, who are of course my family,

All of which is to say, I have a very large family, and it
is a significant part of my identity.

Cynthia is currently pursuing her MFA in photography at Virginia Commonwealth University and has exhibited in the Virginia and Philadelphia areas.

Waking State: For whatever series of simple or complex reasons, I don’t remember most of my childhood, and it remains a grand and intriguing mystery to me. I take pictures of other people’s children as well as my own out of a deep curiosity to understand what might have happened to me, and also what happens to the children in my life now. What kinds of tragedies and hurts, but also what kindnesses and inner resiliencies that compensate for the way the world infringes upon us all. 

Easter Sunday
I have never subscribed to the view that children have it easier than we do- that their lives are less complicated, or their emotions any simpler. On the contrary, there is so much about the world that is out of their control, and which they are struggling to understand. At the same time, their availability to the present moment opens them up to beautiful and profound experiences every single day. 
Sophia and the conch shell
 Great grandmother’s tea party
Maggie swings
Into the woods
The strawberry farmer’s nephew


Chain link fence

 Jesse’s arms

 Mother’s braid

 Washing the river off
Anna and Eloise

Tabitha Soren

Sometimes it’s simply looking at a particular behavior in a new way that evokes a range of emotions. Photographer Tabitha Soren has created a series of photographs, Running, that stir up feelings of panic, tension, curiosity, and concern. Tabitha’s photographs have power in their simplicity, and it’s as if one edge of her photograph is the past and one is the future, creating an in-between narrative that captures a story in flux. As viewers, we are caught in a pivotal moment of cinematic tension, requiring us to imagine what came before and what comes after each image.  The photographs become a series of short stories that seem to shout “get me the hell out of here.”
On June 1st, Tabitha opens a solo exhibition, The Natural World, at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art which continues through July 21st. Curator Shauta Marsh states: “Her series of people running struck me.  The pieces were theatrical and sincere all at once.  There’s genuine anxiety in the subject in many of the photos, and that’s what makes them beautiful.”

Born in Texas, and raised across the country as part of a military family, Tabith now lives in Berkeley, CA.  She recieved her BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU, and studied photography at Stanford University and the California College of the Arts.  After a career in journalism and television, she now exhibits across the country and her work is held in numerous public collections.
I am exploring panic, mortality, resilience and favoc in the project.  These images speak to the twists of fate in life that can unhinge us.  I am constantly amazed at what people can survive – and what they can’t.