On the way to Tybee Island, there is a great multipurpose trail close to Fort Pulaski. The McQueen Island Rails to Trails park area gives a good six miles worth of exercise options. We took advantage of it early one Saturday and saw more wildlife than people. Once again, I saw a great raccoon that eluded my photography skills. He was waddling (much like me after eating redneck nachos at Wiley’s), and by all accounts appeared to be living quite lavishly out on the island. This is what the trail looks like to the west of Pulaski.
I hear that the trail used to go on past what is now a witch’s curse sign:
I was going to cross it, but Bob said he didn’t think we should test the witches in the heart of voodoo country. I agreed.
When you get to the end, there is nothing to do. You just rest a minute and breathe and take in the scenery. It’s funny, because, before I lived here I used to think that the salt marshes smelled funny (or even sort of bad). Now I love that smell.
You just stand out here and look at nature and think maybe this is the type of place where maybe the worst thing that could happen is somebody in the Deen family burns dinner or when Comcast lets their cable go out in a storm. This is the type of place where you stand in front of a witch’s curse sign and watch the ships roll out of port.
And you just stand there until they pass you.
They didn’t come out in the picture, but there were several dolphins out there. They were close enough that we could hear them exhaling. I did capture a magnificent turtle and a crab.
Tybee Island and Wilmington Island. Places for people who don’t really want to have real problems. And I mean that in a good way.
In Beth Dolgner’s Georgia Sprits and Specters, Oatland Island in Savannah, Georgia is mentioned as a haunted hospital. Today, the facility functions as a wildlife center, and there are no current public ghost hunts advertised.
The main building (pictured below) dates from 1927 when it was used as a retirement home for The Brotherhood of Railroad Conductors.
In the 1940s, there was a syphilis crisis and the building was occupied by those suffering from the disease. The patients included children. Ms. Dolgner’s chapter also mentions Oatland being a “development laboratory” for the government agency that preceded the CDC. Shannon Scott created a fantastic film, an excerpt of which can be viewed on his site: http://shannonscotttours.webs.com/apps/videos/videos/show/16961191
Bob and I began our own personal Oatland exploration by exploring the grounds behind the main building.
View from the dock:
I thought I stepped into a scene of the old TV series Lost, when I stumbled upon this boat:
There is a mysterious building in front of the main building that is off-limits (which means I was dying to access it).
Bob was trying to teach me how to use my new camera, and captured some of Oatland’s current residents.
I am a little late with this posting. The 19th Annual Telfair Art Fair was held November 16 – 17, 2013 in the Telfair Square outside the Jepson Center and the Telfair Academy. Bob and I perused the artist booths on Saturday afternoon. When we heard the term “art fair,” we tempered our expectations going in. I should have known better since the Telfair was involved!
No, this was a real deal fine art event with around 80 artists specially selected to showcase their work. I was particularly intrigued by three artists on scene.
Jenny took home an award from the show, and is pictured below with the typewriters that caught my eye:
Maybe it was the writer in me, but I was struck by these images. I must have totally been getting it, because Jenny was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and said that the typewriter “is a beautiful piece of equipment that is responsible for so much growth in modern technology.” Right on, Jenny Henley. I didn’t know it at the time, but now I think I feel the same way about the typewriter as I feel about aviation. My two most favorite things to do – write and travel.
The thing about Jenny Henley is that she’s talented, smart, and nice all rolled into this one unstoppable force of an artist. She describes her work and process lyrically:
“Working with a methodology that embraces sculptural practices in a painting framework, I attempt to reconcile ideas of technology, formal aesthetics and time. Typically I use recognizable imagery, appropriated for an audience familiar with contemporary notions of art; yet fused to a slightly nostalgic sensibility. My acrylic-based transfer process is considerably stable and archival. Inherently luxurious; the glossy surfaces I create allow me to create a hard, impenetrable, and thereby fixed and eternal work (I am concerned with time and viewer observation/commitment), but are also sly comments on the social markers that surround art, and art making.”
A self-described storyteller who was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Clifton’s work grabs your imagination and pulls you into his scenes. The door series (one of which is pictured below) was the image that first caught my attention. The idea being conveyed is one of unknown opportunity. You never know what is on the other side of the door until you open it and come out on the other side. The idea is inspiring enough, and certainly one that we can all relate to at some point in our lives. Seeing the idea captured in an image makes it particularly powerful and thought-provoking. Do we stay where we are, or do we dare go through the door even if we don’t know what is going to come? It could just be where I am right now in life, but I loved these doors. There comes a moment in life (or at least for me that moment came) where you take stock and weigh your options. Maybe a moment of clarity finally comes. Peace came upon me. I don’t know what is waiting for me on the other side of the door, and it doesn’t matter anymore. I can’t stay here. I’m going through. There are no guarantees that what is on the other side is going to be immediately better, but it will be different. And sometimes that is enough. A “I don’t know where I’m going, but I can’t stay here” moment. You don’t know, but you jump anyway. And then you are free.
I knew this guy was special the first time I saw him. I wanted to buy Blue Timbers, and probably just should have. I need to work on my art patronage. Perhaps after that second book sells….. But I digress. Craig is a gifted fine art abstract photographer, who showcases the beauty in ruin. Think old pieces of wood from a sawmill somewhere in Alabama. A rusting door perhaps, as shown in Aquatic. His work struck a chord with me because it reminded me so much of the scenery I saw while traveling and exploring the subjects of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums. I just love the concept of documenting and preserving the historic ruins throughout this country. That is not all he does, but that is my particular favorite genre.
Maybe, there is hope for me as a photographer yet. I did capture an orange rusting boiler in the basement of an old poor farm in Illinois last year. However, there is a gnawing knowing inside of me that tells me it is just not quite the same thing.