Sometimes it’s an error that brings about the extraordinary ...
Some were taken with inexpensive machines employing dated technology. Others were snapped with those a bit more modern. Some have crisp, clear lines, while the focus is lost on others, leaving the viewer to imagine what it might be, could be, or simply want it to be.
Whether it was raining, snowing, storming or during a dusty drought, the weather was perfect for all of them. Each one is special. Each one captured time at the perfect moment to render an image worth clinging to, the sort of images that people clasp to their chest with tears in their eyes as they walk away holding a treasure dear to them for reasons unknown to the photographer.
That’s been the reaction to the type of photo-poetics displayed in Scribble Shots by Alicia Jaye Phillips of Posey County, Indiana.
Not long ago I enjoyed a pleasant surprise when I visited a friend’s home and recognized not just one but two photos on their home's walls, both by the same artist, Alicia. I’ve also seen them displayed in businesses or had people go out of their way to comment to me that they’ve recently discovered her work, and are eager to tell me how much they enjoy it.
Scribble Shots was produced to house photos of special significance to the photographer as well as poems to accompany each one, reflecting in vivid description the desire, or even need, to take it. Sometimes the book is available in children’s sections of bookshops, although it’s a book designed for readers of most ages to enjoy.
Alicia described her desire for the book to be one that’s shared between a grownup and a child, much like a favorite bedtime story. That's exactly how many of my own favorite stories were shared with me. Such things weren’t just for bedtime. They were delivered to take my mind off of being miserable while I suffered through a bout of whatever illness I'd managed to come down with.
Measles, mumps, chicken pox, earaches, the flu ... I remember being cuddled, wrapped up in hand-made quilts and sipping 7-Up while my great-granddad or even my great-great-grandma read me a favorite story, or poems, often from books with detailed pictures.
Honest, the stories and the cuddles were so awesome, I'd get sick today on purpose just to get to spend those moments with them all over again.
All of the photos in the book are special, as is the cover. It’s not only interesting, the entire shot has wonderful, behind the scenes significance that many folks might not be aware of.
The model is a local. She’s wearing Alicia’s muck boots. The dangling camera was the last film-using one purchased and used by our father, who walked on in 2009. The long-sleeved shirt she’s wearing belonged to her grandfather, a local retired pastor, who passed while she was a child. So, like the scenes depicted from cover to cover on the inside, the cover scene has a meaningful history for several generations. She is also the "secret" model featured in many shots of Alicia's Red Cup series.
Although the photos are intrinsically knitted to the rivers land, they have been and are continuing to be easily appreciated by people from anywhere. It doesn't take a stretch of imagination to sense a kinship to the shots and their short verses.
Alicia will be available for a book and photography signing during New Harmony’s Spring Fling event of March 21 and 22. This year, she’s also introducing something new, in the form of small, wearable art, each piece uniquely designed in a variety of styles and colors and functions.
Scribble Shots is also available in both eBook and physical versions via Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The book and other pieces of Alicia’s work is also on display and can be purchased in New Harmony’s Antique Emporium, located at 525 Church Street. It's also available via Alicia's website, On Story Street, where you'll find her bookshop as well as some fun and intriguing blogs to read, Nee's Desk and the ever, popular, Squatch It! Subscriptions to her blogs are free and she always includes excellent, descriptive photography with each edition.
If you're in New Harmony area during Spring Fling 2015, I encourage you to spend some time there. You'll find loads of artists, entrepreneurs and indie businesses represented, fantastic local food and fun activities for all ages. Past that, New Harmony is just one of those cool places everyone ought to make a habit of touring whenever possible. It's an old village but it's never boring or tiresome.
That's it for this one!
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