I bought Tara’s book, Literary Journey, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter at PhotoBook London earlier this month. I just fell in love with it’s quirkiness, the photographs are beautiful and the writing really captured me. I stood there reading through the passages and looking at the images, confused as to what was fiction and what was reality. I enjoyed playing around with the idea of mixing around the reality and fiction of her words and the images. As with my own work, I love mixing the two.
You get a glimpse into Tara’s adventure along the road, meeting these strange larger than life characters that come straight out of a twisted story of a ghost town america. It made me want to meet them, to see through Tara’s eyes, to see through the character’s eyes. I can only wonder what REALLY happened in each of these encounters as Tara describes them so poetically. I love to imagine her comments are realistic but deep down I’m doubtful.
There are possibly two spreads I love, the first is; Rhythm Like the Slow Beat of a Drum. It tells of a haunted hotel, the way she describes this haunting combined with this photograph of a woman in a room. It says the woman will not go inside the room, yet here is a photograph of a woman inside a room… It makes me doubt the documentary aspect of the book, or it makes me doubt that the encounter was as intense and as poetic as she describes. Then we are told about a man she meets in a diner and his experiences with Martin Luther King, you feel like every person in this town/area is an incredible person. It makes me think that everyone around me, if you just spoke to them could be or have done something incredible. You would never know unless you talk to one another.
The second spread that I love is much shorter, No Time to Listen. Here we are presented with a yellow dress in the window of what seems to be a shop, a very empty one. The colours of the room and background and the dress is beautiful as you feel the piece of clothing has it’s own prescence. The building in the background is beautifully framed over the dress, almost like this dress is trapped behind the bars that are keeping it upright, trapped behind the window, trapped in the building behind. There is also a small wig display in the window, which echoes the female face and lack of head (naturally) on the dress. Behind the dress is a dark black/purple dress, illustrating a lot about the original book the series is based on.
No Time to Listen
The dress glowed in the window as the sun shone through. Outside there was a parked car with ‘We Love Jesus’ written on the window. The dress made me think of Mick, of her need to be recognised, her brief attempt to conform. The night of her party where she trades her shorts and t-shirt for a beautiful dress, the night she comes a woman, just to see how it feels.
Above is the passage opposite the dress photograph, I love this little piece of text. Although I’m unable to directly understand what her reference is to Mick, not knowing the novel that well. I can completely understand what she is trying to say in the clean way she describes it, even though she is very poetic about it. The dress is indeed glowing, and I can feel Mick’s prescence in that dress… I just feel it.
I could go on and describe every aspect of this beautiful book but then you all wouldn’t go out and buy it. I hope you do go out and buy one, it’s a beautiful book. The paper’s used are wonderful and perfect for the nature of the book. It was a gem of a find and I’m glad I took a chance and bought it.
Thank you Tara Darby for creating such a beautiful book.