Kevin Williamson is a photographer and BFA candidate at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. A move from rural New York to Boston for school has influenced the way that he sees the world. An understanding that the natural and man made aspects of the land are permanently intertwined is a driving force in his work. His photography explores the northeastern landscape and those who inhabit it. Through the use of a view camera and black and white film, Kevin creates portraits and landscapes that comment on the usage of land.
Smooth Like the River
When I was about 10 or 11 years old, my Dad was driving Dan and I up to an ice fishing tournament on Lake Colby in the town of Saranac Lake. We probably left on a Friday night after school, so by the time we got close it was late at night. It felt like we were the only people alive as the truck continued down the black roads. It started to snow and I vividly remember the way that the wind blown snow streaked across the headlights, each flake building up into the white wall before us. I was proud of the late nights and early mornings that it took to be an ice fisherman. We would leave the single story motel before dawn to head over to Stewart’s where Dan and I would perform the ritual purchase of Pop-Tarts and Gatorade. The winters were long and cold in the mountains; the ice was roughly a foot and a half thick. It was more than enough to support the truck, but I always held my breath during those first few seconds. You can get hypnotized by the spin of the auger as shaved ice flows out and piles around the hole; you’re brought back to reality when the water comes bobbing up. Dan and I felt like men as we entered the tournament shack to register the trout we had caught. We didn’t talk much, but our ever present bonds did not need to be addressed.
Family and the landscape are inseparable in my photographic work. Through the documentation of my family’s relationship to the natural world, I have built an intricate narrative of human intervention in nature. Made throughout New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, these photographs aim to reveal the complexities that come with human relationship to the land. Inside this larger story, there are intimate moments of contemplation and grace. How do we decide what is right?
To view more of Kevin Williamson’s work please visit his website.