Suginami is one of 23 ku, or wards, of Tokyo, an area of the city where I lived for 5 years. Houses and apartments there are sited tightly together; narrow streets and even narrower paths wind around themselves, creating a maze of walls, fences, gates and plants that carefully delimit private space from public.
Daily walks took me in, around and through the margins of this area of the city for hours on end. Suginami is an exploration of the ways this landscape layers in the edges of a frame, of the transformation of light inside the dark box of the camera and of the space of discovery between the viewfinder and the eye.
7×7 inches / 78 pages / 68 tritone photographs / 2009
One Thing Done Two Ways: Elijah Gowin and James Luckett on Making a Book
HHS: Contender by Stacy Oborn
Walks through Suginami by Sheila Newbery
For two and half years I worked as a master printer at a photography lab in Chicago that specialized in meeting the illustrative and evidential needs of lawyers, insurance agencies and law enforcement - which is a fancy way of saying pictures of the dead and the maimed. Ten to twelve hours a day, five days a week, I custom printed, one by one, 80,000 unique negatives, both color and black and white, from snapshot to poster size murals, documenting in detail the tragic occurrences of modern life. I learned three things: avoid cars, stay away from trains, and never ever lean against anything. Cars crash, trains are called rolling stock because they don’t stop, and every single railing, balustrade and fence will eventually give way with grim results. It's also a good idea to avoid working in a factory.
produced as a limited edition zine for an exhibition
at the Sleeth Gallery of West Virginia Wesleyan College