Artist Publishes Book of Her North East Texas Views


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Ine Burke’s photography book, My North East Texas, focuses on old buildings and landmarks and details from these once-ordinary places, often with an attention to pieces designed to help Burke – and viewers – as she put it, “see beyond the ordinary.”

Most of the black-and-white or sepia photos were shot in the area centered around Hwys. 80 and 19, from Paris to Tyler to Athens and Kerens and points in between, with an excursion to the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.

Shooting the photos led Burke to study of the history and stories that shape the communities, with 15 pages of that history and background shared in the hundred-page book. Most of the rest of the book is the photos themselves, most of them one to a page so that they are big enough to study.

What do these pictures mean? They share the past, and the past seeping into the present, hanging on as time and place change. What some of us value, and what we will eventually, in some cases, forget. And what they mean is up to each viewer’s interpretation as much as it is Burke, the photographer.

To get the most from the experience, don’t hurry through the book. Study the images. Look beyond the surface. See what’s there to see: form and shape, content and context. After studying each image, what response does it evoke” How about the accumulation of images that make the book? Is the accumulation random? Whether that’s so or not, how do they connect to one another in the viewer’s mind?

Is everything in the image expected, or is there something new to focus on? What does someone else see in the image? Discuss what it might mean to each; not “right” or “wrong,” but personal meaning.

Consider the difference between snapshots (which in this technological age are as common as sparrows in spring) and photographs, carefully considered images. Each has it place.

The photograph – as art – is more than a simple visual record, more likely to create, for the careful viewer and, if the image is strong enough, even the casual glance that begins to linger. Consider the overall composition, the light and shadows, and the “snapper’s” intent.

Burke’s work might look like simple snapshots at first, but give them a closer, deliberate look.

In addition to taking the photos, Burke, who lives in Edgewood, also designed the book, and wrote the text with her husband, Harold Burke.

My North East Texas is available at a number of locations, including the Edgewood Heritage Park office and gift shop, Lumberyard Café in Edgewood, Flying Fish Gallery in Ben Wheeler, All Through The House antique/gift shop/home décor in Emory, and in Grand Saline at Nutty’s Peanut Butter Store and Means Home Centre, and at http://inegaleri.com/shop-online.

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