|"This group of images was begun, rather by accident, during that hinge
of time between Christmas and the new year. On our way to Eagles Mere,
my husband and I stopped to have lunch in Ashland, PA. The restaurant
was large but deserted. Holiday decorations, turned limp by repeated
hangings, adorned the room. Dreary blue grey winter light from windows
mixed with the warm glow from electric lamps and multi-colored twinkle
lights. At some point during our meal I steadied my camera on the
counter for a long exposure and made an image of the empty room.
Weeks later, when I looked at the contact sheets, there among the
frames of northern Pennsylvania landscapes was an unexpected image of the
restaurant. The time in the room seemed to expand beyond the few seconds
during which it was recorded. The effect of the temperature of the
light on local color was subtle and varied. The debris of lunching and
chatting, cleaning and serving, Christmas gone and New Year's coming,
had taken on heightened meaning. "Merry Christmas from Stephen's Too,"
scrawled on a small blackboard near the center of the picture, had
|These images evolved from that first picture. During my sabbatical
leave in 1994, I drove from Eastern Pennsylvania to Minneapolis and
back, stopping in small towns and poking around in empty clubs, funeral
homes, any kind of public space and making photographs, the one final
subject of which is interiors used for some public or common purpose.
The images describe the time between events. At the content level the
pictures are sociological studies of culture and class as evidenced in
artifact. Looking at them reminds me of peeking into the medicine chest
while using an acquaintance's bathroom.
I think these sometimes modest, sometimes sterile, sometimes
pretentious rooms are important. They are the places where we gather to
share our common experiences. Ultimately, however, I photograph them
because I like prowling around finding them, being in them, talking to
the people who guard them... the subject acts as my boundary in an
exploration of how camera and color materials can be used to describe
fact. I am searching for ways to use the light, color and form to
crystalize their beauty, poignancy, irony, wealth and humanity."
- Chris Welch