1. steven-brooks:

    The Other Side

    Sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected places.  In 2011, I had the pleasure of reading the book, “State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America”.  Included in this collection of essays is one written by Carrie Brownstein on my home state of Washington.  In that essay, Brownstein observes that Western Washingtonians often forget there is an eastern half of the state.  She goes on to muse that the “Cascade Curtain”—the Cascade Mountain Range which divides the state into two distinct halves—is aptly nicknamed.  Having spent all but one year of my life in Washington, mostly in the western half, her words rang very true for me, especially coming from a fellow west-side native.  Even though I spent four years of my childhood in Eastern Washington and had driven over the mountains dozens of times as an adult, I realized that “Washington” to me had always meant the half I see every day.

    For those not familiar with the topography of my state, Western Washington is damp, green and dense, while Eastern Washington is arid, brown and sparse.  As if to mirror the contrast in physical landscapes, the social, economic and political landscapes are also divergent.  In Brownstein’s words, “Washington is two states.”

    A year or so after reading (and rereading) that essay, I found myself aching to escape an increasingly-stifling familiarity with my everyday surroundings.  I desperately longed for new subject matter to photograph, a chance to shift gears and stretch out.  One day, while dreaming of road trips through the American Southwest, but resigning myself to pondering nearby small towns lost in the folds of a tattered state map from my glovebox, I remembered that essay and realized that I had once again forgotten about Eastern Washington, a fact I was suddenly compelled to change.  It really wasn’t all that far from my home in Seattle—at least not compared to the Southwest—nor did it require airfare, much advanced planning or a prohibitive block of time.  I also surmised that it was full of the type of subject matter I had been longing to photograph: a rural and more quintessentially “American” America.  

    A couple weeks later, I loaded my cameras into my car and headed east for the day.  Within two hours of leaving the taillights and moss of Seattle behind, I was on the other side of the mountains, surrounded by rolling, brown hills, with dust kicking up from the roadside and parked pickups in the distance on every side of me.  I decided then and there to embark on a series of two-day road trips, photographing this strangely exotic “new” state I had forgotten, or perhaps never realized, existed.  What I’ve found so far is a wildly varied and beautiful terrain, a faded pallet of browns and grays, an abundance of space with telltale reminders that man owns and tames the land, yet the relentless beauty of nature prevails—the “America” I had forgotten was just next door.

    Most importantly, I have discovered that despite two opposites bound together by an outline on a map, there is a sense of balance driving across the state.  “We” need “them” and just maybe they need us too.  This series represents these revelations.  These are the landscapes of Eastern Washington—as seen by a Western Washingtonian—from the roads that wind through it.  This is “The Other Side”.

     

     
  2. 100 Years – Wrigley Field, Chicago IL

     
  3. Caray, Williams, Banks, and Santo – Wrigley Field, Chicago IL

     
  4. Wandering Wrigleyville and Lakeview, Chicago IL

     
  5. River, Chicago IL

     

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  7. The wind howling, the beer cold, the sky overcast, the peanuts salty, the peppers spicy, Sandberg in the opposing dugout, Ernie Banks throwing out the first pitch, Wayne Messmer singing the national anthem, the Cubs striking first with a homer by Castillo, the Cubs losing the lead off the bat of Utley, the crowd singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”, and the Cubs losing 7-2.  

    Baseball is back on the north side.

    Opening Day at Wrigley Field, Chicago IL - Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs

     
  8. Opening Day at Wrigley Field, Chicago IL

    Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs

     
  9. CTA

     
  10. CTA

     
  11. Sarah has been casting wildlife for more than a decade. She’s traveled the country and the world, working with mentors to perfect her craft. Most recently she spent a summer in Namibia, casting hawks, and her most prized piece to date: a donkey fetus (pictured). 

    While in New Mexico last week I had the chance to see the foundry where Sarah makes her art. Her most recent pieces included a coyote she found on the side of the road, a black panther paw euthanized at the ABQ Zoo, and a rabbit. All the pieces had been cast and will soon be in bronze.

    Sarah Madigan Artist Statement:

    I tend to small deaths because small things matter; there must be a witness to the death of small things. Reflections of the small deaths within the pieces of a human heart. The ones we ignore. I take care of them and they locate my peace, using death as a compass. Caring for small deaths, small lives - homage to a small life, a wee piece of life, through homage toward a small death. I hold them, rolling over the weight of their warm bodies in my hands. A memory in my hands, looking into their frozen eyes. Even as the stink fills the room, I can stand what I see. As I witness their beauty, they do the same for me. That fragile, tragic moment already very specific and immeasurably beautiful, captured and re-presented. The weight of memory that is held in the body. They are cast from life, plagiarizing god. 

     
  12. My New Mexico

     
  13. Albuquerque, NM

     
  14. Descending into Dukecity

     
  15. CTA