I just received the latest edition of Danny Schweers' Photo Prayer this week, and it may be the only email I've consistently read for what must be nearing a decade.
Photo Prayer is also one of the few projects I've seen tended to with such commitment and care for that length of time.
With Schweers' permission, I'm happy to share the fusion of word and image that caught my eye this week.
If you want, call this a happy accident,
the way lights, shadows, sidewalk and steps
criss and cross in this utilitarian landscape
of concrete and steel.
If you want, call it art,
but then who is the artist?
Not me, I am only a witness.
If you want, say this is how grace works.
We are powerless to harness it, yet
grace piggy-backs on our actions and plans,
slips into them,
Photo of sidewalk and shadows outside Bob's Discount Furniture, Wilmington, DE.
Photo and prayer 2016 by Danny N. Schweers
Danny Schweers is a photographer and a poet, among many other things I am sure. He teaches photography as a studio instructor at the Delaware Art Museum, and many of his essays can be read on his blog. He was also instrumental in the Book of Days Calendar, a black and white photographic calendar published form 1977 to 1995.
I love Schweers' approach to the Photo Prayers project.
"For a tentative, often pessimistic man like me, this is a wildly optimistic and daring project. Every time I pair a photo with a prayer, I'm stretched, and not always pleasantly." (Schweers' musings on the project here are worth reading in their entirety.)
Schweers understands the complexities of blending text and image well, though by his own admission he doesn't always hit the high standard he reaches for. None of us do.
"Mixing the visual and the verbal is difficult. When it works, image and text resonate, each offering new insights into each. When it doesn't work, the image becomes merely an illustration."
Sign up to receive Photo Prayer (and see the entire archive) at http://www.photoprayer.com/
Discover more about Danny Schweers' art at http://www.dannyschweers.com/