George Holroyd was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. When he was a child, George's family relocated often, transporting him to a variety of cities and towns throughout the eastern half of the United States. From an early age, he developed a sense of being a visitor to these new places, rather than a resident. That feeling of transience stayed with him and he has traveled extensively throughout his adult life, including to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He now lives in Paris with his wife, Sarah. His current project, And I, presents a diaristic set of images, made in collaboration with the artist's most faithful companion, a progressive neurological disorder known as Essential Tremor.
Some people are born storytellers and a lot of those storytellers are born in the South. As they narrate their lives, there is a cadence to their speech, to their images–a slowed down lyrical way of conveying information. Lisa McCord is one of those storytellers, and I am letting her do the talking today (just throw in a Southern accent as you read). Lisa has been a photographer for a long time and I am sharing a long ago body of work, Rotan Switch, about the community she grew up in, and also celebrating her inclusion in the Holiday exhibition at the Lisa Kurts Gallery in Memphis opening tomorrow night, December 7th, where she keeps excellent company with William Eggleston and William Christenberry.
I was precocious child, born to a young mother and grandmother who were painters and creative
spirits. My mother’s art determined the course of my life. If my mother wanted to paint in a new place,
we simply moved. We moved 13 times before I was 18. I often accompanied her to the Arkansas Arts
Center where she took figure-painting classes. During class, I shaped clay sculptures, based on the nude
model on the other side of the divided painting studio. She taught me to use my imagination and find a
sense of home in my self-expression. Like my mother, I too, lived in many places, following my
photographic curiosities. It wasn’t until after graduate school, that I settled in one place, Los Angeles
with my husband and son.
Since we moved so many times, my sense of place is based on my grandparent’s home, a
cotton farm in Arkansas on the Mississippi Delta, where they lived for most of their lives. My
grandparents and their home was the only permanent thing in my life. Much of my work draws from my
relationship with permanence and transience.
While studying at an all-girls boarding school in Michigan that is connected to Cranbrook
Academy of Art, I became interested in photography. I pursued an education in photography at schools
in New York, Paris, and Greece, and California. I lived and photographed in London, Guatemala, Haiti,
and throughout the United States. After finishing graduate school, I taught photography at several
high schools and universities in the LA area. I am now working full time as a fine art photographer,
allowing the camera to take me places both in the past and present, creating photographs that explore
my memories and tell my stories.
Growing up in the South is very different than growing up anywhere else. The unique social
norms of the south colored our life with a richness that made us who we are. My immediately family, my
mother, sister, brother, and I, moved thirteen times before I was eighteen. Although we lived all over
the United States, the southern nuances remain dominant in our characters. There are many southern
archetypes in my family. My mother, Sherwood, a painter, was the rebel of our family. Uncle Eldon, Dr.
Eldon Fairley, the country doctor, was the caregiver of our town. My grandfather, Harold Ohlendorf, a
tenant farmer and self-made businessman was the town benefactor. The encouragement of these
three personalities, along with the influences of other family members, freed my siblings and me to
dream big, be kind, remember our P’s and Q’s, and always say, “Hallelujah!” after God’s graces.
is an investigation of the estate sales of New England documenting the
objects and domestic spaces that remain after someone dies.
becomes a collection of environmental portraits that tell a story about
individual lives, families, and an entire generation, which is quickly
evaporating. Details of ones life are laid out and exposed, allowing for
the examination of the physical relics of someone’s life. This work
examines these domestic spaces that have been very clearly shaped by
women, creating portraits of them and examining the cultural nuances to
which they subscribed, as well as comparing them to our own schema
today. This can be seen in the pieces of cosmetics remaining on a
dressing table and the ornamentation of a house; even the choice of
wallpaper reflects such subtleties.
but curious – well-worn surfaces, upholstery faded from decades of sun.
Illumination plays a key role in the work, aesthetically adding life
back into a space that is now defined by death. What remains becomes
still life as anthropology; these homes become a part of both art and
social science. The miniature as the grand and the grand as the
miniature, like museum dioramas tell us of an ancient past, these still
lives speak to us of the recent past allowing us to create our own
dialogue with this time gone by.
In Back In The Valley,
Rachel returns to her parents home in a series of portraits of her
parents and their home in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. This
project is linked to her landscape work of the same region, Views From The Happy Valley,
which depicts landscapes of the agricultural land that surrounded her
In this ongoing project Rachel confronts viewers exceptions of family construct in showing her middle-aged lesbian parents in their home revealing the banality of their every day lives. By pairing landscapes with portraits Rachel shows her deep connection to the valley in that she includes these non-domestic spaces in her schema of home.
I can make no statement about reality clearer than my own relationship to reality; and this has a great deal to do with imprecision, uncertainty, transience, incompleteness, or whatever. But this doesnt explain the pictures. At best it explains what led to their being painted. So said Gerhard Richter whose paintings have taught us a thing or two about such matters.
Photographys own intriguing relationship to uncertainty is what we have set out to enact within the current edition of 1000 Words. BuyCableDeals.com Comcast Deals . Featuring Roger Ballen, Natasha Caruana, Viviane Sassen, Raymond Meeks and Deborah Luster, Christer Strmholm and W.M. Hunt alongside essays, reviews and interviews by Gerry Badger, Sue Steward, Peggy Sue Amison, Louise Clements, Michael Grieve and Brad Feuerhelm, the bodies of work in this issue tap into a fundamental mood of uncertainty and reveal some of its dimensions of expression: the mystery caused by a lack of knowledge on the part of the observer or the fraught politics of representation when portraying the other; the unnerving combination of a documentary approach with staging and construction or the ambiguity between fact, fiction and stories; the experimental inaccuracies of an image or the fragmented and indeterminate narratives that typify many of today’s photobooks are all but a few examples.
In the dedicated Books section, we cover Christian Patterson, Morten Anderson and Ori Gerhsts recently released titles with reviews from Michael Grieve, Sean Stoker and Oliver Whitehead.
At best, photography should embrace the most difficult things of our world – the dissonant, the awkward, the unclassifiable – in order to help us posit new understandings of what it means to be a human being. It could be said that photography which is analogous with existentialism, an investigation of subjectivity, is the kind of photography that has the most beauty, poetry and truth, especially at a time when the world seems all too unsure of itself.
Once again, 1000 thanks to all the photographers, writers, editorial and art departments as well as of course our advertisers for making this magazine possible.
Baby with tractor at Sunset (vandalized Cerney/Sun Kim sculpture),
From the Transience series
Website – StephenChalmers.com
Stephen Chalmers has worked as a Lead Treatment Counselor to severely emotionally disturbed children, worked as an Emergency Medical Technician, and taught gang children photography – informing his projects which deal with issues of loss. He has also been a contributor to five books, and has been in group and solo exhibitions throughout the U.S. and also in Australia, Ireland, British Columbia, Thailand, England, South Africa, and China. Chalmers earned his MFA in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University, served as the Northwest Regional Chair for the Society for Photographic Education for two terms, was professor in the state of Washington for eight years and is currently a professor of Photography at Youngstown State University in Ohio. His work is in several collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Light Work, Polaroid, and the Getty Research Institute.
Mark Steinmetz works in the venerable tradition of photographic prowling that bets everything on the ordinary. Each picture is the fruit of an unplanned encounter: Though the photographer may know more or less where he is going, he can’t know precisely what he will find. An accumulation of these improvised perceptions can make both a world and a way of looking at it.—Peter Galassi
A series of three books—South Central, South East and Greater Atlanta—published between 2007 and 2009 brought the work of Mark Steinmetz to prominence. His quiet, yet confident, black-and-white portraits reflect the isolation and detachment of youth. They suggest transience and are an intimate connection to the lives of strangers.
His latest publication, Summertime, released this month by Nazerali, echoes the sentiment of his previous three books and features images taken over the last decade. Steinmetz tends to think about work over long periods of time, keeping the various bodies of photographs in his head and weaving pictures of the same spirit together. However it is not only process but also circumstance that resulted in the work taking so long to surface. When Steinmetz, who studied at Yale, began making his intimate black-and-white portraits in his twenties, interest rested in fabricated color photography, not photography documenting the way the world actually looked. With the world in a more sober place, viewers have been more receptive to Steinmetz’s point of view.
Although Steinmetz has at times worked in a more scheduled manner—including a series on Little League Baseball and one on summer camp—his preference is not to nail things down too specifically. “I don’t begin a project with an agenda that is going to over-determine the outcome,” Steinmetz recently told American Suburb X. “I think it begins with a faint vision—one of those whispers on a breeze—that somehow gets a grip on me.” The photographs in Summertime are the product of an intuitive roaming approach of a photographer who always has his camera with him, in search of people where they might be out in public.
Summertime opens with an image of a boy laying on his back with an empty school bus and deserted school yard in the background, which sets a school’s-out-for-summer kind of tone that continues throughout the whole book. The photographs are more widely spread geographically than those in the earlier publications concentrated in the South, as Summertime sees Steinmetz getting out more into the country: to New Haven, Conn.; Boston; Chelsea, Mass.; Chicago and rural Illinois. The images were taken in places where the photographer was either living, visiting his parents or teaching. That connection affords Steinmetz a familiarity and comfort and enables an ease he strives for with the strangers he photographs, which is reflected in the pictures. In black and white, things can rest a little easier in the frame. Summertime is more about the kids and that feeling of having all the time in the world in summer—and in the middle of winter, Summertime is what we yearn for most.
Summertime was published this month by Nazraeli Press.
I was very honored to be asked by Hamidah Glasgow of The Center of Fine Art Photography to juror The Dreams Exhibition that opens this Friday in Colorado. It was a tough process, with over 3,000 images to select from….and the idea of narrowing down so much good work was painful. Over 60 images made it to the walls, but today I am featuring some of the images that made my top 100 and still need to see the light of day! I will be featuring the work of several award winners over the next few days.
Thank you to all who submitted and thank you for sharing your dreams, nightmares, and visions.
Emma Powell, Unmarried
Carrie Tomberlin, Inevitable
James Rohan, Toward Seaview
Bootsy Holler, Visiting Ruby
Deon Reynolds, Manhattan
Jen Williams, Untitled
Sean Stewart, Existential Anxiety
George E. Holroyd III, Lazy Sunday
Ellen Cantor, They told me I needed Screws from Unorthodox Anatomy, 2009
Melissa Hall, Sentinel
JuliAnne Kaplan, Fingers Dream
Martin Gremm, Business Casual
Marc Ullom, Transience 65
Ewa Zebrowski, Apparition
Anne Berry Captain
Jay Muhlin, Japan Dreams
Beatrix Jourdan, Point of View