Time-travel takes many forms: for us, the opening of Jonathan's show last weekend was a step back into our former life in northern New England, where we saw many old friends, some of whom we hadn't seen for a decade or even more. For many of them, these photographs of late 1960s and early 1970s were a real trip into a personal past and regional/social history that affected many of our lives forever.
A lot of people came to the opening, and the photographs were received with wistfulness, amusement, nostalgia, and genuine appreciation: many people said "this was me, this was my life and a special moment in time, you've absolutely captured it." The two hours went by in a wink. Several of the people actually pictured in the photographs were present, providing a somewhat mind-blowing collapse of time. It was great to meet a couple of blog readers as well as many old friends I was absolutely delighted to see, and we were also so grateful to some close friends from Montreal who made the effort to be there with us.
Some of the visitors were close friends we've known through almost the entire thirty years we lived there, and others were from specific contexts -- Vermont Public Radio, community organizing, church and choir, artists and board members from AVA Gallery, professional contacts and former clients, neighbors -- a long and varied list. Each time someone else walked in the door it felt like I was seeing another piece of my life -- it was a good feeling, and an odd one too-- something that perhaps I could only experience at this age, after so much time has passed, and after living elsewhere for a considerable time as well.
And of course I was most happy for J., whose work was beautifully hung -- it's always a pleasure and a new experience to see a body of work on the walls, large and all together for the first time. This project has consumed both of us for a long time, and this first exhibition (with prints specifically chosen for that Vermont/New Hampshire location) felt like a culmination of that effort. Thank you to AVA for making it all go so smoothly, and to everyone who came to see the work and has supported the project thus far.
Jonathan will be giving a gallery talk at 5 pm on May 20, just before the exhibition comes down.