Gold / 2010 / Book / Fine Art

Reconstructions

  • Photographer
    Charles Grogg

These images are shot on film, printed as fragmented images (many of them botanicals) on handmade Japanese gampi, then stitched back together, incorporating objects or additional needlework in the prints. I want to show the bewildering problem of trying to control growth in any forum--private, personal, economic, political. Life tends toward growth; our decisions to limit it are often painful, and sometimes silly.

I make images, so to speak, looking over my shoulder. My grandparentsâ?? values, their life on the land as immigrant family farmers, represent for me a rich soil for investigation and interpretation. But I am also heavily influenced by my reading, by psychological problems fictional characters endure in novels as well as the epigrammatic lyricism of poetry.

Whatever my own psychological proclivities, as a teacher I can recognize in students the struggle between staying in a safe place and venturing out into unknown and, necessarily, frightening territory. The values of each are, at least generically, neutral. Somewhere, in a moment of hesitation, we recognize the struggle and conflict between growth and restraint. This is what's important. I keep coming back to that moment.