Photographs can be particularly interesting if they take time to process and understand underlaying meanings. James Graves' images are spit second memories and metaphors, filled with gesture, and stripped down to black and white simplicity.
James used to be a librarian, and he has always been a quiet person. However, this allows his camera to reveal a lot about himself. The idea of quiet and deep understanding of the world is reflected in his work.
"I was raised in the Roman Catholic church, and I carry a consequent kit of doubt, dread and wonder, along with an insatiable need to ask questions."
James says he doesn't like to write about his work, and he speaks so little of it that I don't want to speak for him. Here is what he has to say on his body of work Marking Questions:
"I’ve never liked putting into words that which I work so hard to create with the visual language of photography. My project, Marking Questions, documents the world around me as I attempt to make images which speak, much like poetry, on both the conscious and sub-conscious levels. I have a slowed down approach to making photographs, using film and medium format cameras, that leads to more deliberate, contemplative, yet intuitive narratives.
I find life to be mysterious and disorderly. We cannot depend upon our senses to tell us what is true, and our intellect is constantly proposing new ideas of order. The unkempt spaces of unmarked time and quiet wanderings are contemplative markers not only for my memories but for the simplicity of being human in a complex world. The blurred figures which inhabit some of my images reflect the difficulty of grasping a true question and allow for meanings that are not my own to be layered into the work. This project is not only Marking Questions, but it is marking what I recognize or don’t recognize in the world around me."