Sunday, November 29, 2009


Welcome to the very last chapter of my Book Passages series. Chapter 20 is an excerpt from the play "Stuck" by Neil Haven. This is the only passage that I sought out instead of having it sent to me without a specific request. "Stuck" is the play that will be at the In Tandem Theater during the run of my Book Passages Exhibition at the 10th Street Gallery. The Theater and Gallery are together under one roof. In fact the Gallery is in the lobby/lounge area of the theater.

I originally was going to ask Miranda Levy, the Art Gallery Curator, to ask the theater director to pull a passage from the play once I knew that "Stuck" was running during my exhibition. Miranda had already agreed to my idea of have some of the theaters actors read the book passages during the opening of my Book Passages Exhibit on February 12, 2010. I thought that finishing the series with a passage from the play would be a fitting close to my Book Passages visual journey.

As luck would have it I was at an American Society of Media Photographers meeting in September. The topic was professional photographers who also have created a fine art career separate from their commercial work. I was speaking with a woman named Maria before the meeting started. She asked about the project I was working on. I explained the project and my intent to finish with a passage from the play, "Stuck". She said she is friends with the playwright, Neil Haven and could ask him if he would like to pull out a passage for me to interpret. Wow. What were the odds of that happening? I gave Maria my business card and about a week later I received an email from Mr. Haven expressing his interest and enthusiasm in helping me out. So the passage below was picked out by the playwright himself. So cool.

Reading the passage that Mr. Haven submitted for interpretation I was immediately immersed in the solitude of thought that would take place while "Stuck" in an elevator for six hours; in complete darkness. What would go through your mind?

I feel that ending with this passage really brings the Book Passages series to a respectable close. Even the name of the play, "Stuck", is somewhat of a metaphor for how I'm feeling as I complete this visual journey. This journey has taught me a lot as an artist. I have grown a lot during this eleven month visual journey. I feel like I have many creative paths I can take but at this time I'm uncertain what road I'll choose. I have met some talented people on this journey and I can't wait to work with them in the future. Thanks to all of the friends and family that have supported this project by showing an interest in it by viewing my blog posts and making comments along the way. Thanks also to the many new cyber friends I've gained along the way. I hope that you all continue to drop by occasionally as I will continue to have new thoughts and images to express and show.

A few things to look forward to are:
  1. The opening night of the Book Passages series at the 10th Street Gallery on Friday February 12, 2010.
  2. A LuLu book of my Book Passages images combined with poetry by a talented St. Louis writer, Michelle PG Richardson. Michelle is creating new poems inspired by the images I created during this visual journey. I think the creative process of people sending in passages for interpretation from the written word, my visual interpretation from those passages and now a new literary interpretation creates a very interesting thread of creativity, communication and thought.
AND now for the final passage, Chapter 20 of the Book Passages series.

Stuck by Neil Haven


....Anybody ever been stuck in an elevator? It happened to me last summer. There was this huge thunderstorm and the hotel got hit by a power surge. It knocked everything out for about six hours. I was stranded somewhere between the fifth and sixth floor. So I heroically called for help on my cellphone. But then they couldn't figure out how to get me out. So they were all yelling down to me, telling me I'd be fine and that I'd be out any minute. I think they were worried I would go insane and eat myself. I didn't. I was fine. It was just dark for longer than I would have wanted. So anyway, I was in there for a good eight hours before they finally got it running. When I arrived at the next floor, they were kinda freaked out. Apparently I'm the first person in history to be stuck in an elevator for eight hours and then not get out of it when the door opened.”


Naomi said...

Bill, congratulations on the completion of the series! I've really enjoyed seeing the different passages and your interpretations of them. That is really cool that the playwright chose this last one.

The image in the middle reminds me of someone who might be waiting outside the elevator. (Personally, I would go nuts being in a tiny space for that many hours.) The character herself is interesting — she seems to accept her solitude (maybe even enjoy it)? I wonder if she is a child. Or someone who doesn't mind being checked out of the world for a few hours.

Anonymous said...

Your photo series really sticks between levels by protecting partial images which sandwich the stuck reality in middle frame. Using dim level value does capture the loss of light while hands and fingers seemingly stuck through fear or anxiety eventually release and point to a source of light , or potential rescue.Your total series points to a more confident ability to project your personal ideas and leaves cliche possibly forever. Great growth. Hope to make the show in February. To your next challenges! B.S.

Neil Haven said...

Very cool pictures. I'm honored to be a part of it. I'm looking forward to seeing the hardcopies in the gallery. Rare event to have photos and a play linked.

Hope your holidays are swell!