Presentations, Radio Interviews, Publications and Excerpts from Reviews
Radio interview with Orest Ulan, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Two reviews of Borrowed Time: Photographs of Caroline Vaughan, Durham, NC and London, Duke University Press, 1996.
By Michael Chitwood, poet and author of Salt Works. These pictures—worth a thousand looks—tell their own story, Charlotte Observer.
Michael writes: The dark, cavern-like workshop of Durham Brazing and Welding can be foreboding. Metal screeches as it is bent into useful shapes. Acetylene torches spit and hiss. Giant machines groan under the load of heavy work. But Caroline Vaughan plunged into the workshop. She made her way quickly around the thick-topped tables, stepping over slabs of steel and snarls of hoses and presented herself squarely in front of white-haired man clutching a welding mask. “Hey, remember me? She shouted over the din. “Oh no, not you again,” the man groaned in mock protest. But he put his mask down and turned off the machine he was using.” I tell this story, from a time when I was a project, because it captures, for me, so much of the spirit Vaughan gets into her remarkable photographs. Forthright. Risky. Challenging-but not with attitude, but with honesty an unblinking fierce innocence. And it illuminates the many levels on which her new book Borrowed Time, works.
The time the worker, the subject along with his twin brother of one of her photographs, will allow her to enter his world. The time it takes her to accomplish that feat. The time a viewer will want to spend savoring what she has come back with. Her photographs, like good poems, engage the viewer. They speak and ask the viewer to reply…the photographs are rich with ambiguous stories.
Bone Deep Images: ART. Review by Linda Johnson Dougherty, Curator of Contemporary Art at the NCMA; The Spectator, number 52.
Linda writes in her review of Borrowed Time: Photographs of Caroline Vaughan, 1996, Durham and London, Duke Press, Durham, NC, includes an eloquent foreword by Reynolds Price. She reviews the exhibition at Craven Allen Gallery in Durham, which includes several new works in addition to two decades of her work. Vaughan’s landscapes and still lifes are hauntingly beautiful…In works such as Journey to Inaccessible Places, we see the backs of two women as they climb up the banks in a rocky desert landscape; the stark, smooth whiteness of their bodies glows with an incandescent light in contrast to the dark, textured landscape. Her black and white portraits of flowers are anthropomorphic, sensual images; images; photographs that capture the slightest nuance and change in tone and surface, causing the petal of a flower to become as detailed and textured as human skin…stripped of superficiality, Vaughan’s images go bone-deep; she gets to the core of people, places and things.
Latent Image, No. 1, co-founder with John Menapace and Robert Roscow, Durham, NC, first national university publication devoted to fine art photography.
Celebrations, New York, New York, edited by Minor White, published in Aperture, 18:2.
Quest, A Feminist Quarterly, Washington, D. C., Volume 2, No. 1 (Cover Image)
Camera, Allan Porter, Editor, Lucerne, Switzerland, No. 8 (Cover image and p. 31.)
Camera, Allan Porter, Editor, Lucerne, Switzerland, No. 9, The Arms of Venus.
SX-70 Art, edited by Ralph Gibson, Lustrum Press.
The Polaroid Story, Zoom, The International Image Magazine, Paris, France, volume II, pp. 101-114.
Aperture, New York, NY, volume 115, New Southern Photography: Between Myth and Reality.
The Catalogue of the Amon Carter Museum Photography Collection, edited by Carol Roark and others, Fort Worth, TX.
Emerging Bodies; Nudes from the Polaroid Collection, edited by Barbara Hitchcock, Zurich, New York: Edition Stemmel.
The Polaroid Book: Selections from the Polaroid Collections, edited by Barbara Hitchcock: Zurich, New York: Edition Stemmel.
Personal Disruptions (exhibition catalog), Center for Documentary Studies, Durham, NC
Borrowed Time: Photographs by Caroline Vaughan, Durham, NC and London, Duke Press.
Borrowed Time—life and death, fire and ice, male and female, outer and inner meet timelessness, the narrow temperature zone of life, androgyny, and wholeness in a slow dance that is more complex than it seems at first glance.—Olivia Parker
Caroline Vaughan’s work is lovingly seen and meticulously produced—Marianne Fulton, George Eastman House.
Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers, Asheville, NC, Safe Harbor Press, edited by Christopher Brookhouse.
Quartet was made possible by Safe Harbor Books, New London, NH; Asheville, NC, and editor and novelist Christopher Brookhouse. The introduction was written by Georgann Eubanks, co-owner of Minnow Media, a documentary video firm in Carrboro, NC. Georgann paraphrased John Rosenthal who once explained—If there is an overriding need I feel, it’s to slow things down…I can’t imagine there’s any truth or beauty in the acceleration that seems to be the point of everything today. Geogann wrote: Caroline Vaughan said much the same of her effort: I choose to make still images to slow the world I see. Only in this way can I filter the many layers down to a rhythm slow enough that I can maintain my balance. I stop time to make a fiction of stopping time.
Caroline Vaughan has spent thirty years carefully composing portraits of people and landscapes that work on the viewer on several levels. Vaughan often speaks in metaphor because she sees in metaphor. The details she fixes on in a landscape usually suggest human figures and forms that are charged with sexual energy. Vaughan says that she always seeks out the most transient elements in a landscape,-things that took a shorter time to be created and required non-discovery by humans to survive, like the mud dauber’s nest. These fragile things I try to photograph in the most noninvasive ways.
At least four times a year over two decades, Vaughan made a series of portraits of her father, a skilled woodworker. This longitudinal study demonstrates the fine patina of human aging, sturdy and burnished as the oak cane that William Vaughan refused to carry for walking but used to steady his hands for his daughter’s camera. Indeed, all of Caroline Vaughan’s work aims to freeze time in order to distill its effects. The accumulation of slow movements—whether water coursing over stones or the slow pull of gravity on skin—is her preoccupation, an effort perhaps to anticipate grief and loss as a means to lessen their inevitable arrival.