Review by Douglas Stockdale *
I am always amazed when an artist attempts to define an internal personal feeling, whether is it is a dazzling sense of excitement or a gloomy sense of dread, that they are able to convey those feeling with visual images that seem to connect for me in regard to those indirect expressed feelings. That is exactly what I experience while looking at Tara Wary’s photographs of her photobook Too Tired for Sunshine that hints at the issue of depression in the context of the ups and down of life.
I also think that there is a gender difference in experiencing the myriad of various feelings encountered in life, whether is physiological or part of the social imprint created during childhood. Even so, as individuals I believe we all experience events differently. So far be it for me as a male, to state that what Wray has photographed is or are not visual clues as to her life’s ups and down issues.
Nevertheless, I find a intriguing combination of pathos and humor in many of her photographs that seem are representative for me as to the potential ups and downs of life; the playground slide frozen in a winter landscape, a slightly out of focus animal, a down-trod appearing dog that seems to potentially exemplify the feelings of the photographer, a woman appearing to be stuck (trapped?) in the back of a truck, some dishes stacked in a sunlight kitchen sink, a donut that is accidentally squished and the back end of a deer that for me, is symbolic for the end of her narrative (I was thinking the end of her tale, but decided that pun is probably a bit tired).
Perhaps one of the more interesting for me is the photograph of the stack of boxes that are stamped with the label “Disappointment” and my experience has been that for some individuals, a series of disappointments become accumulative and create a morass that one seems unable to escape. The disappointments start to take on an almost perceptive weight. Likewise, I encounter individuals whose life would seem nothing short of a high stack of disappointments, yet they appear to not be similarly burdened. I have also learned that DNA plays a part for some individuals tendency to have “down” moods, who may have a chemical or psychological unbalance due to no fault of their own, but nevertheless need to learn how deal with the cards they have been played. Wray’s message is that life is complex and not always sunny and bright.
Wray’s book has provide me with an opportunity to introspectively look at my life as to past events, my own ups and downs and what has provided me with perseverance to keep moving ahead (although perhaps not always easily). That a photographer can create a book that invites these kinds of open questions is a strong testimony as to how well this book is thought out. Wray provides a difficult investigation into the various challenges of life with a sideways glance towards the darker side.
Too Tired for Sunshine, Tara Wary
Photographer: Tara Wary (born Manhattan,Kansas, resides Vermont, USA)
Publisher: Yoffy Press (Atlanta, GA, USA) copyright 2018
Introduction: Aimee Bender
Hardcover book, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Turkey
Photobook designer: Jordan Swartz