Hanging photos

Christine and I spent the afternoon at the Yadkin Cultural and Arts Center in downtown Yadkinville hanging the photos Christine has taken over the past year or more. The show includes a dozen portraits of people whose lives are informed in one way or another by the river. You’ve met many of them here in earlier posts. There’s also a group of images taken at Donnaha Park, mostly of families who come to the river to escape the summer heat. These are joyous images. The one I love the most shows a man with his arms raised to the sky with drops of water falling around him. We also hung a group of photos of baptism scenes, taken at the Fisher River, images filled with spirit and wonder.

Christine printed her landscapes on large foam panels, each about three feet wide.  You can see these images on our website at: http://yadkinriverstory.org/. But the large prints take you to the water in ways smaller ones can’t, and there you are, at dawn, at sunset, on a snowy day and high above, looking down from a helicopter through the fog that rises over the water when the nights get cool.

Our project focuses on people and communities bound together by the river. But we have also come to see the river as a character with many personalities. That was unexpected. But as you listen to the stories people told us and study the images Christine made, I think you will come to understand, as we have, that the Yadkin is at once wild and tranquil, angry and caressing.

My students at Wake Forest University and I have been studying a poem about the River Dart, in England, by a British poet named Alice Oswald. She spent three years on a journey much like the one Christine and I took, interviewing people who lived and worked along the Dart. Their voices make up her poem. In the introduction Oswald writes: “All voices should be read as the river’s mutterings.”  So we are not the only ones to think of a river speaking – or muttering — in many voices.

Christine and I hope you can make it to the exhibit opening Saturday, from 9 am until 4 pm. If you can’t make it Saturday, the show will be up through the end of October.

Phoebe

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~ by yadkinriverstory on September 16, 2010.

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