The Project

Poem Stones is my experiment in freeform creation.

The images are based on a poem, an autobiographical memoir, that I’ve been writing my for most of my life. One day, while struggling with a piece of writing – I started banging my head against the wall. “Why can’t I write what I see in my head?” Later that day it occurred to me that maybe I should flip it around and instead try to “see” the words I had written. So I began with the idea of creating photographs of the poem. These are the Poem Stones.

The process is simple. And not. I start by heading out to a session with specific parts of the poem in mind. Once an image is created, I allow myself to go back and re-work the poem based on what I experienced while creating the images and with reference to the final images themselves.

In this way the images are informed by the words and then the words are re-informed by my experience and the images – which then influences the next image. And so on. Looked at one way I am creating a piece of work about my life that changes into something else about my life.

Just my kind of art.

Folks have asked:

Am I photographing the poem in order?

No. I am not taking the poem in order. I considered it but realized doing so would seriously lengthen the amount of time it would take to work through the verse. I choose selections based on the available models and locations. There is very little set in “stone.”

Do I share the poem with models ahead of time?

No. It’s important to the work that the models don’t have their focus on the poem as they might try to deliver their interpretation of a verse or concept.

 Will I share the entire poem? Including unphotographed sections?

I’m undecided.

Where do I find my models?

Many of the Poem Stones models are friends, or friends of friends and local neighbors. If you’re interested in participating I would be glad to talk to you. Just get in touch.


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