“I think that red is a very difficult color to work with. I don’t know why. It’s as if it’s…red is at war with all the other colors.”
William Eggleston: Photographer (2008) is now on YouTube.
(via American Suburb X)
I took some time earlier this month to document my sheep shearing business for Filson. You can find the complete series on their website: Sheep Shearing in Western Washington With Nich Hance McElroy
I made these images three Novembers ago in the town where my mom grew up, and where most of her six siblings (and my cousins, and the innumerable children of my cousins) still live. I didn’t photograph the nuclear plant or the catholic church, or the boarded-up grocery store (nearby Buffalo, MN opened a Walmart), but I spent half a roll photographing the big clumps of reed-grass that stand like hay-stacks in the marshes, and another half on the mysterious piles of churned asphalt that stand in wasteland lots. I had sincere hopes that this spacious avenue - lost family, plumbing the past - would lead into a new territory, but instead it narrowed, and finally closed at a cul-de-sac. I went back to Seattle and back to New Mexico and met Aubrey and etc.
While correcting colors and dust-spotting the negatives I’ve felt the same listlessness in which the pictures were taken, and it’s a little uncanny to be simultaneously in the brightest, most beautiful fall day in Vancouver, and staying in my grandparents house, driving an antiseptic-smelling rental car in the snow, drinking by myself in the childhood bedroom that Betty and Judy and Karen shared, and mumbling Catholic prayers before each meal. I guess that I put these up as a way of practicing in public - not because there’s some vital truth that development or refinement would destroy, but because they’ve sat for three years collecting dust, and I’m airing old ghosts (Halloween is later this week).
The working title was “The Color Of My Mother’s Eyes,” which I abandoned when I got to early-winter Minnesota. Everything felt white or grey or brown except the painted metal stadium and the sad plastic flowers that were pushed to the edges of the cemeteries. But without another name that’s what the folder these images live in has been called.
Anyway, here’s a part of those four days in November, 2010.