Friday, 1 May 2009

featuring bill bowden

'featuring' is a way of exposing the work and thoughts of a contemporary photographer
mostly it's a summary of a communication through which i tried to find answers on questions or to let the artist explain the idea behind an image
i follow bill bowden's photography for quite a time now
his images are invitations to observe closely, to let apparent details coincide, to penetrate multiple layers...
bill bowden works as a reporter in fayetteville arkansas US
as a first 'featuring' i found bill's work, specifically the image:'pool' the photographical translation of what i meant by naming this blog 'separate stories'

© bill bowden

On Monday, I drove through the town where I grew up, Marianna, Arkansas. A doctor lived across the street from us. When I was a child, she had a swimming pool in the back yard. I remember hearing that she had filled the pool in with dirt after finding a dead horse floating in it one day. Where the horse came from, I don't know. But a lot of people used to have horses in that town. Apparently, the doctor's children had grown up and moved away, and the pool had fallen into disrepair. So, when she found the horse in it, she figured it was time to fill it in. I assume the horse was trying to get a drink of water and fell in, but who knows? That was several years ago.

Anyway, I drove through Marianna on Monday for the first time in a couple of years and noticed the pool area looking very serene, so I took this photo. The man who owns the house now told me he's thinking about digging it out and restoring it for use as a swimming pool. The town itself appears to be dying. It's in a part of the south known as the Delta, which was very prosperous 100 years ago because of cotton farming. Now, the area is very depressed financially.

I was attracted to the symmetry and the serenity of this scene, but for me there was also a childhood memory attached to it. If you look hard, perhaps you can see it, too.


I admire the work of Bill Bowden. In his photography he's permanently 'at war with the oblivious' (the name of his blog). This war has yet resulted in some very inspiring images. Pictures that balance between thoughts and reality, between impressions and registrations, imagination and truth.

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