by Sarah Fox
As a photographer, I'm constantly doing little mini-projects, which are often parts of some larger project I have in mind. My projects often fall along the lines of a couple of major themes that matter to me:
THE STRUGGLE OF THE COMMON PERSON: This is an age-old theme. The common person, without much in the way of power or influence, is exploited by government and industry for the benefit of those who have power and influence. I'm certainly not the first to realize this, nor will I be the last. However, there are certain times in history when the common people get lulled into mindless submission to the power structure. This is one of those times. I hope some of my photographic work causes people to reflect on circumstances and conditions that really should not be. Along these same lines, far too few photographers are attempting to document these turbulent times. Now, as always, they point their macro lenses into flowers and take endless pics of sunsets. Honestly, flowers and sunsets will look much the same a century from now, but the conditions that shape our society will only be remembered through the efforts of photographers, journalists, and historians. Anyway, I'm having a Dorothea Lange sort of moment. I've decided I should turn my camera to some of the more difficult subjects -- photography that won't earn me any money but that will tell stories that need to be told.
LIVING HISTORY: Maybe it comes from living in a historical area. Maybe it comes from aging and recognizing that much of my lifetime took place in "the old days." However, my perception of the world is changing, and I'm coming to view the present from a historical perspective. I am also coming to recognize the past as not so long ago. There are elements of our history in every aspect of our present-day lives, and I've seen no place where the intersection of past with present is more remarkable than in Colonial Williamsburg. To the casual observer, Williamsburg might seen like a boring theme park, minus the rides and entertainment. It might seem like a tourist trap, where people can come to experience the curiosity of Colonial life. However, to the community that lives and works there, Colonial Williamsburg is a real part of present-day life, and it coexists with supermarkets and automobiles and people with cameras from Germany and China. I find it all quite remarkable. Anyway, one of my ongoing projects as an artist is to photograph the community of Colonial Williamsburg, with emphasis on the artisans of the community and their apprentices.
My photography of Colonial Williamsburg and other historical themes can be seen in that gallery. My photographs concerning the struggle of the common person will only be linked from this page, for now:
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