Haunting MemoriesEchoes and Images of Tennessee’s Past
Patterson, Christine P., photographs, and Wilma Dykeman, text
Cloth Edition, $32.50t
Cloth ISBN: 0-87049-930-0
Status: In Print
DescriptionIn Haunting Memories, two gifted Tennesseans—photographer Christine Patterson and author-historian Wilma Dykeman—join their talents to create a unique celebration of their state's past. Here are thirty-six of Patterson's evocative images, each one accompanied by an equally evocative poem that Dykeman wrote in direct response to it.
Patterson's subjects—bridges and barns, churches and storefronts, train stations and Civil War battlefields—were chosen from throughout Tennessee, and all of them speak of the state's rich heritage and history. As familiar as such subjects might be, the images that Patterson has produced are strikingly original—the old made new. Her photographs possess a luminous, dreamlike quality born of a painstaking process. Patterson intially captured her subjects on black-and-white infrared film, long used in scientific photography for its ability to register light outside the range of the visible spectrum. She then printed each photograph on a canvas-like paper and treated it chemically to produce a sepia tone. Finally, she assiduously hand tinted the images, often employing unconventional coloring media such as cranberry juice or a paint made from ground coffee beans. The result, as those who view these pictures will readily discover, is an art that stirs both the memory and the imagination.
In her introduction to this volume, Wilma Dykeman notes that the nature of Patterson's images "released my words from becoming perfunctory descriptions of a picture's contents and permitted them voyage into the realm of poetic understanding." Accordingly, her poems, in concert with Patterson's photographs, are intended to "increase appreciation for the rich variety in the world of nature and human nature not only in Tennessee but elsewhere. Universal revelations are ever in our daily routine and its accepted details."
"Perhaps," Dykeman continues, those who enter these pages, wherever they have lived or ventured, will find a kinship in simple things, a shared pleasure in discovering familiar yesterdays afresh, joy in creating the voices of memory."
The Photographer: Christine P. Patterson, a native and resident of Knoxville, Tennessee, has been a freelance photographer since 1986. Her work has appeared in various exhibitions and galleries.
The Poet: Wilma Dykeman is Tennessee State Historian and the author of seventeen books, including Tennessee: A Bicentennial History, Explorations: Personal Essays, and Tennessee Woman: An Infinite Variety.