Monday, May 13, 2013 The Elusie Gallery announces that it will be sponsoring a photographic exhibit of the work of Lionel Delevingne, featuring photographic prints from his book, “Drylands: A Rural American Saga”, co-authored with writer Steve Turner and published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2012. The exhibit opens Saturday, June 8 at the Gallery, located at the Old Town Hall, 43 Main St. Easthampton, MA.
Delevingne’s photographs of landscapes, farmers, and forsaken downtowns, taken in eastern Washington State, evoke the hardship and the joys of the farming community. Drylands can be seen as a snapshot of the complex changes reshaping American agriculture and small towns across the nation.
“This project was a collaboration between my best friend, Steve Turner, and me,” explained Delevingne. “ Steve had worked in the fields of Lind, WA as a college student and always wanted to return to write about it. His enthusiasm was contagious and the result was Drylands. There is something quintessentially American about this place and its people. It is like nowhere else but, in some sense, like everywhere else.”
Delevingne renders the landscape in the way the farmers see and appreciate it. He finds beauty in the land, a water tower, and the dignity of a vacant downtown. He scratches the surface and finds life, labor, community, and struggle.
Drylands has been described as “a beautiful, soulful exploration of an ordinary place made extraordinary through the words and pictures of two accomplished craftsmen.”(Matthew Klingle,, author of Emerald City: an Environmental History of Seattle.)
Delevingne was the staff photographer for the Valley Advocate in the mid-seventies and went on to become an independent photojournalist for national and international media, including Mother Jones, The New York Times, and Die Zeit. He is the coauthor of Northampton: Reflections on Paradise and Franco-American Viewpoints.