|Snow storm,, from the series Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Norfolk VA, Preston Gannaway Okland CA|
Just got back from the Southland.This year Jerry Atnip and I were ask to be jurors for the 13th annual Slowexposures competition. I had previously juried this event in 2005 with Celina Lunsford. At that time we created a little stir by choosing Wrapped Turkeys by Andy Scott of Atlanta for the first prize . Sometimes things change and sometimes they don't
Ten years doesn't seem like a long time anymore.Many changes have taken place not just the war between analog and digital but also the way we view pictures,what do they meanI think in this era while we are bombarded by images and on overload,we still want to be able to feel a connection.
Jerry and I decided not only to jury but curate an exhibition that reflected something about the south.Trying to avoid cliches and yet holding on to the idea of what is the South. Picture of old barns, rusted trucks, coca cola signs even kudzu, magnolia and cotton can be photograph in many places.Exotic locals can be found anywhere as well as the downtrodden and cute kids.
Jerry has just did an interview with Sally Mann and that old question was asked what/where is the South ? Like many a feel it more than see it. It is a Neverland that exist to varying degrees in our hearts and no two descriptions will ever be the same.Because each is based on the histories and memories we can remember but never fully describe.We know it, it is formed in our childhood , always stays beyond our grasp our real reality.
Which brings me to our winner this year, Snow Storm by Preston Gannaway when announced people look at us in disbelief. Even as they congratulated us on a solid selection of photographs how could this one win? To be honest the image was beautifully print and presented, In this image a complete world was shown,like a dream, it had a mood of quiet wistfulness.A moment we could all recognize that first snow.
I got my first Brownie camera,took a picture of a solumn little snowman and that was it. Funny ting when the exhibition came down a number of people came up to us to say they had snow pictures in their family albums
Snow has always been a mystery and an occasion to celebrate in the deep South but this time it was a hot September day.