Parker Stewart: The States Project: Georgia
Parker Stewart is a fine art photographer from Greensboro, North Carolina. He has found a home in Savannah Georgia. I met Parker when he first started at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011. It’s easy to pick out his 6’5 frame in a crowd. I had the opportunity to watch him develop through his time at school, and he has certainly grown into a fantastic photographer whose style is unique while still paying tribute to the classic American documentary roots. During his last year at SCAD, Parker started photographing in an area of Savannah that is often overlooked. This neighborhood, which happens to be one of my favorites, has some of the most genuine people, cars, and houses that you will find in the entire city. The characteristics of this neighborhood are aging, but they say that like a fine wine most things get better with age, right?
Parker Stewart (b. 1992) is a photographer and a native of Greensboro, North Carolina. He recently received a B.F.A. in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. His work focuses on the place, and he uses photography as a tool to observe and record scenes that most move him. He is typically drawn to banal and vernacular architecture of different regions of the world, and he has a special tie to the American South and the southern scenes that he sees on a daily basis. Parker is currently a contributor for Aint-Bad Magazine and a new employee of Maine Media Workshop and College. His work has been featured in Oxford American’s Eye’s on the South and been exhibited in Savannah, Atlanta, and Augusta, Georgia, Washington, DC, Greensboro, North Carolina, and Lacoste, France.
Slowly, and Over Time
I approached my neighborhood with a camera slowly, and over time. Four years I have lived here and four years I have been observing this place. All it took for me to begin recording these observations was to leave. Seven months I traveled away from Savannah, and for almost seven months I couldn’t keep Savannah off of my mind. Upon returning, my appreciation was exalted by this place that drew me to create this work. Slowly, and over time, as a momentum to my process, is also how I compose the scenes I choose to capture. Using a large format camera and 4×5-inch color film, I meticulously look before I pull the trigger. I wanted to portray this place the way I see it. I have spent four years in this southern place, full of its nuances and foliage. My neighborhood sits in the socioeconomic weave of streets with all its character. Homes that have been dilapidated by neglect or restored to their Victorian character find commonality as time and place precedes them. I look at the romantics in this relationship, the homes patina with a warm orange glow streaked across them from the fading sun, the chair on the porch and the man or woman it belongs to. These moments I have observed, and it was these moments I set out to capture. From the morning warmth to the midday heat, to the fading blue evening light, day in and day out I witnessed the atmosphere and the way it shifts over time. The poetry falls into place every time I walk down the street. People round corners at the perfect time, two young boys ride past me looking at me as I look at them, and we share a nod. I watch the colors change in the sky, and the orange sunglow reflect off the street. I peek through windows and down back alleys, through the windshield of cars; it has become comfortable and familiar. I have been here long enough to see things change and see things stay the same; the beauty lies in both.
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