The Death of Lucille French Clark
Lucille French Clark was my landlady when I moved to Marathon, Texas in 1988. She rented me a building which was my first art gallery and darkroom. She also rented me a 500 square foot adobe house I still live in today. The building was originally a grocery store her father opened in 1900. That building was attached to the two story adobe house she lived in her whole life. Lucille was good to and for me, and if not for her I don't know what I would have done because my original plans for a space to work and live fell through the very day I moved to town. I got to know Lucille the last three years of her life. She was smart, frugal, had a great sense of humor, and was direct. She died April 4, 1990 around 10 am. That day started out nice, but then the wind picked up, and blew my flag off the pole and into her driveway. A little later it hailed in the glass mountains (the range that is north of town) and stayed there for three days. For a while the house just sat there, but I was now the caretaker and eventually I went inside. I started to document the house as it was left. I photographed all the rooms, but they were just documents. Then one day I found a tarantula and placed it on the dining room table and made an image. This really excited me and so I started to find a critter for each room. I've gotten a lot of interpretations about the meaning of the images. Like the furniture is representative of the old woman and the animals are nature reclaiming the land and property. I love hearing those analogies, but at the moment they were taken, I was just trying to get the animals to do what I wanted them to do, make beautiful images, and not get bit. I did love seeing the animals in the house and on the furniture. In retrospect, it was the first time I used my camera to pay homage to someone and express my grief. Please contact me about acquiring a boxed set or individual prints.