Daniel Jackson is a Boston-based photographer. His book “Portraits of Resilience” was published in December 2017 by MIT Press, and received coverage from the national press, including the Boston Globe, PBS Newshour and National Public Radio. The book won $50,000 in grants from the MIT Council for the Arts, the MIT Innovation Fund and alumni donors, which made it possible, amongst other things, to give copies of the books to an entire incoming class. This summer, Jackson’s series The Pond is being shown in the Panopticon Gallery in Boston.
Jackson has studied with Arno Minkkinen (2010), Keith Carter (2013), Cig Harvey (2014), Joyce Tenneson (2015), Connie Imboden (2016) and Brenton Hamilton (2017). Jackson was commissioned in 2011 to create a series of images of contemporary laboratories to accompany an exhibition of work by Berenice Abbott, which were shown in the MIT Museum from May to December 2012, and were subsequently acquired by the museum. He won a Director’s Grant from the Council of the Arts at MIT to fund the exhibit. Earlier portfolios include a study of Frank Gehry’s Stata Center published by Lenswork in 2007; images of Boston’s Metropolitan Waterworks, published by the Waterworks in 2011; and an essay on a garden designed by Warren Manning, a leading landscape architect in the early 19th century who had worked in Frederick Law Olmsted’s studio. His self-published book of images of this garden was selected by by Darius Himes for inclusion in the Indie Photobook Library now acquired by Yale University.
Our pond was a quarry in the revolutionary war. A train ran across the field to one of the first and largest blast furnaces in the colonies. As late as 1874, the pond appears on a map as an “iron ore bed.” Eventually, water was struck, and the quarry became Porter Pond.
When my wife’s parents bought the land and the adjacent house almost fifty years ago, the field was overgrown and the pond was weedy and inaccessible. Over the next few decades, they cleared the banks, diverted a nearby brook to flow through the pond, and poured sand to make a little beach.
I’ve been photographing the pond for more than a decade, as our children and their cousins have grown up around it. In the summer, it’s the center of our family life. The water is never exactly warm, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The water is clear, but it’s too dark to see more than a few feet down. Shoals of fish swim with us, and a heron visits occasionally, rising majestically above the trees as soon as it becomes aware of our presence.
In summer storms, the water shimmers under the downpour. One of my nieces streaks in the rain while the rest of the family plays board games on the screen porch. I’m with her, out in the rain, hoping that neither of us will be struck by lightning.
To view more of Daniel Jackson’s work please visit his website.