These images of Bessie received an Honorable Mention Award from the International Photography Awards 2012. One award for them as a series and one for the single image of Bessie with her camera.
I am very honored to be among some of the most talented photographers in our industry.
Bessie was so willing to open up herself to me and allow me to visually tell her story. I am grateful to her for that. I saw such a huge smile on her face when she viewed them for the first time at the Napa Valley Museum opening. That was a very gratifying moment.
Here are the winners, with the single image entry first:
Bessie was one of my subjects for the project I am involved in through Preservation Napa Valley. I loved photographing her. She was shy and really didn't think she had much to offer but you can see by the image that she was incorrect. This is such a wonderful photo of her. I was so thrilled to find out that she had a darkroom in her kitchen and photographed her children and family. It was fascinating to watch her touch her camera after so many years of being stored away. She was lost for a moment as she looked through the glass and her hands started to find their familiar position on the camera. I wanted to load it with film for her.
The images of Bessie will be on display at the Napa Valley Museum starting on August 11 this summer.
Along with those will be the my second subject, the Dooleys. You will get a sneak peek in a few weeks.
Sweetest couple I have ever met.
My husband and I spent the weekend in the city and he lovingly accompanied me to the MOMA. One of the exhibits there touched on the exact topic I blogged about under this post. The images are by a Dutch artist by the name of Rineke Dijkstra. It was such a compelling group of images. Many of them were taken over a span of years; showing the evolution of the person from what might have been 5 to 25. There was also a group of images taken of adolescents at the beach. I loved these especially. So touching and tender. This image is from that series.
You know how a song has the power to take you to a specific place/feeling/time in your life? Like Neil Young singing Helpless; Crestline, Ca. Or like Elton John, Tiny Dancer; driving by Hansen Dam. Van Morrison; the top of Laurel Canyon and a party with Micky Dolenz and Lynn.
Pink Floyd, especially Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon. That album is in my cells it has a smell and feel. I was with my best friend when I first listened to that. It was Foothill Blvd, Lake View Terrace, Ca.
Chris Woodworth was Pink Floyd and James Taylor. Bobby Blake; Elton John. Rhonda Hensley was Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder.
Mary Bentley and Bonnie Raitt & The Eagles and Dan Hammer and the river. Any great song and Jamie Fox. Led Zeppelin and Mark Woodworth and Sherri Moorville. And Little Stevie Winwood was Sherri Nazaroff.
Those moments and those people, formed me more than any others. It is not possible to connect with them again, not in that way. They are parents and grandparents now. They have gone through the pains and joys of life. Some had a harder time than others. I love them still. The exquisite sweetness of that time is something I think of often. I remember how beautiful they were.
So there's a connection here to the next thought... adolescence, music, aging and finally the photographic image.
I keep searching for a way, photographically, to mesh the two; the young version of a person and the older version of them. Because they are both. I love the dichotomy of the two images side by side. But there is something else to explore there and I haven't figured it out yet.
At the memorial for our friend Billy, there were a lot of old photos around and many of those people were there at the gathering. One image stands out of a large photo of Billy with his friend at a concert and next to the photo sat the man in the image. It was so heart wrenching. Here was this fresh young vibrant boy/man at the peak of his life and next to that sat an older, balding man, frail looking and quiet. It is burned in my mind.
It is so sad to see this interjected into your field of view. Really, is this all we have to offer? It is a frequent sight when traveling the US highways. This was on hwy 95 in Winnemucca. Can't say I wasn't happy that Christmas we were in Nashville and could not find a place to eat. Turns out Mc Donalds in Kentucky on the main interstate, right across from the huge adult 'bookstore', is open every day. You can't find one open in Tennessee on Christmas though.
While I am here; if you are passing through Winnemucca, there is a fantastic little restaurant called The Griddle, right on Winnemucca Blvd. Get the fresh squeezed orange juice! Also, the bacon is lean - can you believe that? Bacon happens to be my weakness.
Stephen Perloff has just posted the results of The Photo Review 2011 Competition. The above image is the first place winner. I am honored to have had two images chosen for this competition as well. I'll post those below.
The judge was Robert Mann of Robert Mann Gallery in New York City.
If you venture over to the site, please do check out the '2011 submissions', there are wonderful images in there that should not be missed.
Here are my winners (they also happen to be two of my favorites!):
Our friend - Billy Mack - died this last summer. He is missed. He left two wonderful young women behind; his daughters Leisha and Lauren. And I have to think that in his life they were what he was most proud of. They were a testament to, and a record of, the best of him. He was, to use a cliche; larger than life. To walk into a room and be greeted by his hollers of "Oh, oh, be still my heart" was always a thrill and I loved it. I loved him. He was my daughter's god-father and her dad's best friend.
A poet, a lover of wine and food and life and most of all music. He would send you his favorites. He would write a poem about you and lose it. He drove like a mad man and smelled like cigars. I have a photo on our wall that is a collage of old rodeo postcards that was his and I had to clean what must have been 20 years of cigar smoke off the glass. Okay there might have been some other substance mixed in there too. This photo of him sits above the light switch that turned on his dining room lights. We ate there and played poker there and loved his little girls there. We talked through marriage and divorce and back again. I like that I can see his finger prints on the switch. I have his hat and his rodeo picture. I miss him. When I look at his girls I see his smile. What a lovely thing to have given your children.