"LOOKING DOWN THE 'DUMP'"
Digital Photograph in Black and Cream
The single print executed by the artist with archival inks on archival paper
Signed Lower Right / Housed in a 22K giltwood custom carved frame
Lewis Carroll :
"....and she walked through the wood....and through a small door...to a strange garden."
Appearing as the great age-toned daguerreotypes of the 19th century,
this photograph is a single edition.
The depiction is a wooded road in the hot, humid summertime flood plains of Eastern Arkansas.
The image appears to have been painstaking executed on a delicate silver surface 100 or 150 years ago.
However, this photograph is contemporary - made with contemporary equipment.
Magically, it compels us to step outside of time and of schedules - and to be still for the moment.
Framed by daguerreotype soft diffusion, the long path with arched cathedral-like branches suddenly
comes into sharp focus,
just at it turns at a sunlit "doorway" to an unknown place.
You can hear the quiet - broken perhaps by a woodpecker or an animal in the underbrush.
Move - and you can feel the heat and humidity of the summer.
This is the "stuff" that makes fine art -
this transferrence of a setting and its atmosphere - the pricking of imagination and longing -
and the ability to seize that moment in time and make it what it is not.
Image Size : 13-3/16" Wide x 19-7/8" High
Framed Size : 17-3/16 Wide x 23-7/8" Wide
Until the early 20th century, the Missouri Bootheel and Eastern Arkansas were mostly "swampy wildlife refuge".
In the mid-1800s, to reclaim this land for farming, an ambitious system of drainage ditches and levees was begun.
Additionally, the railroads clear-cut many of the forest for ties -
both procedures making the very fertile lands suitable for farming. And the settlers came.
However the disastrous Flood of 1927 overpowered those systems, again submerging these rich farmlands.
As a result, a far more extensive system of levees and drainage ditches was begun -
from Cape Girardeau, Missouri (on the Mississippi), throughout Arkansas.
Relying on gravity, some were devised to empty eastward into the Mississippi River, and some westward into the Missouri.
Eventully this project drained 1.2 million acres of land -
and is the largest such project in the history of the world.
This ditch-digging process was executed both by machine - and pure back-breaking hand labor.
As the workers excavated exit-paths for the floodwaters -
they "dumped" the earth along one side the ditch -
the name "dump" remaining to this day.
Many dumps are now roads. Some are paths that take us back in history - as this image -
and some have disappeared entirely into a scenery that is itself vanishing - along with culture that built them.
For more about Norwood Creech, please click below :