Gothic or its alternate. Can the prairie even be gothic? Or is it elsewhere, a realm beyond corroboration, one that fastens dread to nostalgia and optimism to disappointment. Capturing the prairie requires a wild surmise, a dogged patience willing to ride the ditches of muddy roads, the heavy light of early spring, the penitence on Good Friday. That dread word, depression, creeping along the verges, dusting the window sills. Drought chokes the edge of vision, the cloud of hope that follows the lone vehicle imagining a destination. This is a world winnowed down to its sinew, hands and faces creased with incipient dust, hard-headed as the skulls of buffalo and the skeletons of crumbling buildings.Aritha van Herk
This prairie. A space too expansive to be conquered, a space larger than the imagination’s imagining.
The quotes from the last week have all been from a book called “Prairie Gothic” by George Webber (photographer) and Aritha van Herk (poet and author of the intro). If you’re a fan of good writing, black and white photography, portraits, or empty spaces, I can’t encourage you enough to give this book a purchase. The quotes I’ve shared do a better job of describing the shape of the photographs (and the place where they were made) than I could possibly do, so all I’ll say is that projects like that one are why black and white will always hold a special place in my heart.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the last 30 days of images and notes! Until next time, wishing you gorgeous light and happy shooting!