Ciociaria copyright 2011 Douglas Stockdale
photo-eye just published Karen Jenkins review of my book Ciociaria. Jenkins goes into considerable depth, and grapples with an undercurrent of memory that weaves through most of my photographic projects, where she states; the theme of the memorial also emerges, wherein nature is shown as an inextricable part of how we commemorate loss and reckon with the passing of time, seen here in wilted bouquets, neglected fountains and shrines embedded in the rolling hillsides.
She states: A dichotomy is suggested between this variation on street photography and unpopulated landscape or topographical views. In this guise, Stockdale rejects both narrative reportage and the purely picturesque. He instead delves in between – seeking places where the strange becomes familiar and the familiar strange – creating touchstones of personal symbolism that transcend the particulars of Ciociaria. Within this realm, Stockdale takes a deadpan look at the human-altered landscape, finding in the banal a cross-cultural link to broader metaphorical meaning. Yet the book is also studded with heavily lyrical images (not least of which is the final view of a misty, open road).
I appreciate her observation: What I liked best about these photographs is how simply they capture the relentless and sometimes beautiful, sometimes bewildering encroachment of the natural world on man-made environments. I find Stockdale to be a keen observer of how people attempt to compartmentalize and contain nature for both practical use and domestic enjoyment.
I invite you to read the review in its entirety, then perhaps be moved to purchase the book!