New work is hard to come by, but photographer Jay Tyrell’s new series, Wind Army, is featured at American Photo, and it is very, very fresh material. It’s reminiscent of Margaret Bourke-White’s industrialized themes of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Brilliant.
I have been enamored with this collection of buildings for a considerable amount of time, especially for its potential as part of my PlainSky, Nebraskans, project. The repetition of the arcs in the buildings, the staccato lines fence, and vanishing point created by the sign all connected to make an image that exudes the essence of the landscape in western Nebraska, while the desolation itself is a warning for the future of the people of this area.
I often look for irony in my surroundings, but seldom am I given this kind of palette. On a cold, windy day in Harrison, Nebraska (there are many cold, windy days there), I tried to show the interaction between rural decline, wind, landscape and culture in an image fraught with contradictions.
One element crucial to the “PlainSky, Nebraskans” project is wind and how it defines the colors, textures and landscapes of western Nebraska. This Buick, fence and group of outbuildings have sat dormant in the outskirts of Harrison for years, and on a January morning, the unrelenting gale that is a year-round, uncounted resident of the town tore at the fence and prairie grass enveloping it.