April 13, 2012


Tony, King of Victor Street. Ektar 100
Photo. Dale Linklater

When there are windows of time between deliveries at work, I head to the library. The U of Winnipeg library is an interesting place. Orange stacks, weird hallways, surprise levels and that unmistakable reeky smell of history. Good place to think or get lost. New Mexico has been on my mind for many months now and when little reminders of this unknown state reveal themselves at unexpected times, I pen excitedly. Jemez Springs. I would like to behold these for myself. Sandia Mountains. These mountains too.

Meandering the stacks last week I came across this passage by John Steinbeck (in reading his name, a flash of Rags; because you love his mind) from his work Travels with Charley.

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike, and all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

This excerpt resonated deeply when I cracked at random a photography book titled In America by Eve Arnold on my knees deep in those orange stacks. A trip takes us. Indeed. What a time in this life. Tail end of twenty five. The hysteria present at the beginning of this birth year has gone and I have landed in a place new. A place with someone where policing and coercion have no place in the understanding of the other. It is what it is, we are who we are whether we are together or apart. The simplicity of this detail always makes me laugh. Can it be so simple? Yes, I think so. I am beginning to get it, the value of security and sureness. If this reads mysterious, that is not the intent as I am just figuring it out for myself.

Understanding. Light bulb moments.

Had one of those when Craig showed me laughingly how to make a nice clean border with photo paper in the easel (my borders had been wild and sloppy until that moment). Do it like this. Ahhhh oui. Learning how to cut paper in the most practical way. These are the moments I feel very much my father's daughter.

The last four days have been something to say the most and least. I have learned a lot about myself as a printer, as the woman I have always been. Constant self correction. Arms deep in hot water bathing prints with a gentleness usually reserved for the littlest babes, looking and learning wordlessly from Craig working at his own station.

Watch and apply. Dead Meadow droning on. Time slips on like silk in the darkroom. Working on a single print for four hours and then ten minutes on the next. There is no consistency because each negative asks for a different process. Now complete, a body of work is hung and ready. Photographs with meaning hung in a line. I spent so much energy fretting how they would all work together until it was finally understood that is not the point. Each face speaks for itself. The photos chose me in the end.

I hope you like it.

Now that the Hogwash operation is behind us, minds are free to explore new possibilities. Years of work closed like a book. Put those years to bed, they are behind me now. Each face tucked into a special pocket of memory. What is next?

Puch Maxi.

In other news, I have a new friend. A little brother. His name is Dale Louis Thomas. He's ten right now. I shot this of him and he shot this of me a few days ago at Magic Hour with the Kiev while heavy activity went on inside that garage pictured at left.

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