Meg Elizabeth Ward: The States Project: West Virginia
Meg Ward and I are on the phone. It’s early morning for me, but Meg has been up for hours already. Her children are napping. Light is streaming through the window where I sit in Hampshire County, West Virginia, and I picture her, a similarly tall woman, sitting in similar window light in Pocahontas County. She says something to me, humbly, that I can relate to: “I’m not a big talker. Photography is a lot like speaking, for me. If I haven’t made a photograph, then I haven’t said anything that day.”
Utilizing her family, herself, her home, and the landscape she traverses, Wards images are dark, haunting, and gritty. Like the short stories of Lucia Berlin, I can feel the time slipping, the darkness setting in. Wards images are like that moment of last light, that moment before the twilight in the trees turns to silhouette.
Meg Ward is a self-taught photographer from West Virginia. Raised in Wayne County, West Virginia, Ward spent the last decade in Tucker County and on the road. She now resides in Pocahontas County with her husband and two children.
From the very first shutter click on her eldest sisters 35 millimeter camera, she was hooked. Greatly intrigued by the blurred mishaps, out of focus shots, long exposures, and gritty textures of a slightly unkempt dusty lens, Ward is an observer, utilizing black and white film and digital photography. She seeks the unusual and slightly uncomfortable images to capture.
What do I consider to be picture worthy, beautiful? The permanently dirty hands of a mechanic. The way skin seems to curl like apple peels when its drying out on a deceased animal. The ‘ugly’ things. I shoot primarily black and white utilizing both film and digital media.
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