B O W L, Highway 11W, Tennessee 2007 © jw lawson

Every time I head home to collect images it gets more and more personal. Rather than scanning the nation for and idealistic view of the highway vernacular, I have been spending more and more time looking at my personal history and the region where I was raised. Same eyes, different emotional content.

This bowling alley was someplace where I spent a great deal of my childhood (my mother was an avid bowler). It was where I bowled my first strike, received trophies for tournament play and had really great French fries. As you can see, the bowling alley means something completely different to me now.

I now can rechannel those memories and look at the place today. These days the structure represents both growth and a reducing economy. Taken out of context it looks like a sad shell of a building in an assumed shell of a town, yet there is a brand new Target, Lowes and other big box architecture less than a mile from here. The economy is strong, the history is just being rewritten.

This is the case everywhere I roam. Where I find the majority of my art, there is an active change. I travel in circuits and repeat images from time to time and eventually the artifact is gone, built over or paved. In many ways, the beauty I see in my work is the capture of a time and place. To gather a sense of the place that once was while absorbing the kinetics of what is happening next.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

after school memories seem to be some of the most vivid. our over tired, growing brains clinging to the structures and activities that symbolized our parents. or those who aren't our parents but who still brand us. lately i've been realizing how inanimate objects take on the personality of those who own them, or occupy them. and how when those things are taken from us it seems personal. like an attack.