The work of Elijah Gowin spans the documentary tone of his Lonnie Holley series to the whimsical narratives of "Hymnal of Dreams" to the ethereal and timeless imagery of his "Of Falling & Floating" series.
Despite the diverse nature of his collections, Gowin manages to keep his mark. Themes transcend his work: isolation, fragility, and the integration of new and old media. With a willingness to broaden his work and intriguing new projects on the horizon, I was very grateful to Elijah for sparing the time to provide some insight into his work.
Elijah Gowin is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he directs photographic studies.
Would you say your work has progressed and/or changed since your work on projects like the Lonnie Holley or Hymnal of Dreams series?
Certainly much has changed in my methods of making a photograph from those earlier series made mostly in the 1990s. The new millennium brought many changes personally and globally and I saw it as an opportunity to reinvent how I made my art.
I think as I have aged (I have a family now and moved to Kansas City for a teaching position five years ago) I have been able to step back and deal with issues outside of the region that fueled my early work-namely the landscape and mythology of the Southeastern United States. I am much less internal as an artist these days and am able to empathize better with others around the world. I am looking more to picture a wider world psychology rather than my own.
But hopefully people see a few links from the older to newer series. I continue to push the alternatives to straight photography and am still interested in ritual and the landscape.