I grew up along the banks of a small stream in the Chagrin River valley of Ohio. My woodland romantic father and my landscape painter grandfather took my siblings and me on long walks along the streambed. Our explorations were slow and quiet meanders, as my father proclaimed the joys of looking at the natural world we passed through. On these walks I learned to love rivers and streams.
The works in this exhibition are from two of those love affairs.
One, a series of photographs from along the Bitterroot River in Montana made after the death of someone close to me. I went to the river every day. Some days were just to stare as the water flowed by. Other days were for a slow meander. Later I went for photographs.
Recently, I had the opportunity to go back to the forests of my childhood. The current owner (a private girls’ school) of the land I grew up on, funded an artist-in-residence program which allowed me several weeks back “home”. Again, I wandered the streambed -still with an eye to the natural world, still with my father’s joy of looking. Those crabapple trees, those grapevines, that Sycamore Tree leaning out over the deep blue pool, that stream. They are all deeply embedded in my sense of the world.
Barbara Bosworth was born in Novelty, Ohio in 1953 and is currently professor of photography at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She has received fellowships or grants from the Friends of Photography, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Buhl Foundation. Her photographs have been included in numerous landscape exhibitions, including “Crossing the Frontier,” organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and “The Altered Landscape,” organized by the Reno Museum of Art, and are in the permanent collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
Bosworth recounts the deep forest surrounding her family’s home as the earliest influence on her photography. Working like a naturalist, collecting specimens of flora and fauna, tracing mountains and rivers, she takes careful measure of the world with her lens. Rather than a simple accumulation of facts, however, her photographs describe a world richer than the sum of its parts. Bosworth seeks the fluid, transient aspects of the landscape that are less easily categorized, carefully unfolding a personal and spiritual connection to the world around us.