Monday, January 18, 2016

David Versluis’s: These Photos Now: “about to break apart”

©David M. Versluis
These Photos Now: About to Break Apart 
Montage, Archival Pigment Print 2015
18"W x 27"H

The University of South Dakota Art Galleries is currently showing, New Union / Re Union, in Gallery 110, located in the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts. This exhibition features 50 artists, “who know Vermillion and/or the area intimately well,” interpreting lines from the poetry of Cynthia Nibbelink Worley, Harlem, NYC. The exhibition runs to February 15, 2016.

Versluis’s Artist Statement
Invited artists were asked to develop an image based on a single line in the poem by Nibbelink Worley a Dordt College alumna, class of 1966. I was assigned the line “About to Break Apart” from the poem titled, “These Photos Now.” The house façade, in the montage, is a photograph I took of the ca. 1900 farm homestead in Heritage Village in Sioux Center, Iowa.

These Photos Now ©Cynthia Hibbelink Worley

Looking at the photos now
They tell a different story-
The small frame house stands cold, alone
Its sagging porch, two elms I thought of once
as wondrous arms
seem weak- wasted limbs
about to break apart
My father's work shed too, lonely- a patch
of winter's snow
frozen on the roof
The barn, fat and warm inside I'm sure-
In these old sepia tones Phil sent upon Aunt Effie's death, I
feel the great sadness, emptiness—
everything simple, flat, so plain
Without these pictures I idealize-
Fresh bread baking in my mother's heavenly kitchen
The homemade Christmas tree glowing through a tiny window
Heat from a wood-burning stove-
The photos quiver with a certain reality
Wind howling through a hollow core
the heartache, precious pain
of that barren landscape
How hard we worked to make it seem more
than what it was

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