It’s a fair point Corwin makes, during an interview for ‘Inside Art’, when he states, ‘The really amazing and really terrible thing about the internet is how easy it has become to find new artists, and see everything they have done. Many people don’t see the need to support the artists they enjoy on the internet, which makes things even more difficult.’
And I, along with millions of others, fit that category. Of course, had I the necessary, I could see myself as a financial benefactor to people like him – but that will never be. But I do try to share my enthusiasms with others, albeit in a very limited way. Those writers, musicians, artists and photographers out there in the ether give me so much pleasure and I do attempt to spread the word – which brings me to pugs.
It seems of late, if one walks into a gift or card shop, there’s many a pug regarding you, tempting you with that adorable squashed-faced cuteness. I am a pug lover from way-back though – before they became canine flavour of the month. The inspiration – well, her name was Cleo.
These days, although I don’t have the privilege of having my own hound, there is still plenty of doggy love in my world. At my second home, my son and daughter-in-law’s pets make up for it. Oscar has been part of my life for so long now, with his constant companion, Memphis, a joy to be around. There is also next door’s Bella, as well as the other dogs we visit – Summer, Bronson, Ada and Jasper to mention a few.
Why no dog? Well, I guess owning a dog is not as easy as it used to be. There is expense involved, especially when we head off on travels. And then there are all the dos and don’ts petty officialdom have introduced – following a dog around with a plastic bag and scooper is not for me. It was far more lax when I was a kid and I seem to remember there were always animals to love in our Burnie home – cats, various bird species, rabbits, tortoises, blue-tongues and my father, bless him, had a thing for tropical fish. As an adult there was Jeannie. Named after a favoured pupil, this springer spaniel was so loved in the days before Katie and Rich arrived on the scene. I was devastated when she came off second best to an automobile.
But it has been Cleo that has left the lasting impression down through the years. I am pretty sure I once wrote a poem about her for a school magazine. I’d also be pretty sure that my dear mother, knowing her, would have that ode stored away somewhere in her extensive family archives and could readily produce it if asked. And I think Cleo was pretty liberal in her favours around the neighbourhood as she always seemed, in my mind, to be pregnant or suckling a litter. Her offspring were always of indeterminate breed – I don’t think we ever hooked her up with one of her own kind. Despite their rough pedigree, we never seemed to have trouble disposing of her offspring – and it was fun trying to guess from their appearance the local ‘tramp’ responsible for the outcome. But I also know, that without doubt, Cleo was family and at the time it would have been impossible to imagine life without her.
I have no recollection of what ended her life. I am hoping it was old age – maybe that occurred during my uni or early teaching years – but I couldn’t be sure. Undoubtedly Nan will fill me in once she reads this. Cleo, though, left a through-line that continues to this day. Sister Frith has owned another beloved pug, Barney – and her daughter Peta has her Mia. And she would be loved to bits too. And this brings me back to Corwin.
Corwin Prescott owns a pug – Franco. He – Corwin, not the pug – is an internationally exhibited and published photographer. He’s known for his fine art nudes, particularly taken in landscape, as well as portraiture. But it wasn’t either of those genres that initially attracted my eye – it was his magnificent vistas of wilderness, minus any human form. They really made me sit up and take notice. I know a small laptop screen didn’t do them their full justice. But I envisaged them in huge scale, occupying considerable gallery wall space. Even so, what I did espy gave this armchair traveller an inkling of the grandeur of the places he visited to capture his magnificent images. It’s remarkably fine camera-smithery. The one that held my attention, in particular, was that of a buffalo emerging from the mists of Yellowstone National Park. It took my breath away, particularly knowing the history of those magnificent bovines.
‘As soon as I started taking photos I was doing portraits in the woods I would escape to when I was a kid. I’ve always felt safer surrounded by trees than people, so my photos of landscapes and nudes in nature are sort of my own meditation. They help me to relax and try to share all of these special places people tend to overlook with others.‘ Obviously, as this quote would indicate, checking out his website and galleries on-line, there is much that is NSFW, but his figurative work is worth a gander if nudity doesn’t trouble. But in many, if not all his journeys into the realm of nature at its wildest, there may be another companion, apart from his muses. He is worthy of a gallery or two of his own; an annual calendar even. I looked at Franco and memories of Cleo came flooding back.
Prescott is a Philadelphian, graduating from the Antonelli Art Institute in 2008. Over the last five years he’s criss-crossed the US, attempting to travel and take images of every state in the union. The national park system is another fixation. And I’d like to think Franco is always with him on his adventures. ‘As a species we have drifted so far from the forest that just to hang out…in nature means exposing yourself to so many elements we aren’t equipped to handle any more.’
So here I am Corwin, doing my little bit, putting your name out there amongst the small circle who read my scriblings. Accompanying my words will be tangible proof of your talent – and one never knows, it just might lead to something tangible to your benefit. More than likely not, but it’s my way of saying thanks for what you have placed in the ether for us ordinary, financially challenged art lovers to take pleasure in. And give Franco a pat from me – a denizen of an island not without its own attractions, nature-wise.
Corwin Prescott’s web-site = http://www.corwinprescott.com/