The Hidden Coast of Maine|
Isles of Shoals to West Quoddy Head
Photography by Joe Devenne
Essays by Ken Textor
Tillbury House, 212 pp, HC, $34.95
It's sneaking up on us...the month of November quietly, gradually, increases the volume on the panic button...so here is potential gift problem solver for the Maine lovers on your list...an absolutely gorgeous new book of photography of our eternally photogenic state. Textor and Devenne have been writing about and photographing the coast for almost forty years...a testimony to the ever changing moods of our 3,478 miles of coast line. (Don't you wonder how they measured it...in, out, up and down, and around?) Tilbury House, located in Thomaston, Maine has spared no expense in the production of this book. Eighty-six sites from The Isles of Shoals to West Quoddy Head are presented in full page, fully saturated, luscious color, including several that are a third of a page beyond the binding fold.
But the real extravagance of the book is, of course, the subject matter which these two talented men have sought out and are so obviously dazzled by...the hidden part of the coast. They have not sought out the nooks and crannies, rather they have captured the changing moods and texture and light of places you may drive by every day and yet not recognize in these pages. I live in the southern part of the state, often ignored by artists of all mediums, probably because of the changes made by population density.
My book is open to Ogunquit, a town many drive straight through because of the legendary crowds. One of Devenney's two photographs of the town is our south coast version of a classic pocket harbor, full of moored lobster boats... (Perkin's Cove). The light and the roiling clouds make the scene dramatic. The other, to me more compelling, is the wind driven etchings on the sand at the river's mouth. Throughout this marvelous book it becomes more and more clear that one of Devenney's favored muses is texture.
At Seven Tree Pond in Union, the full (nearly) page photo is of a beached canoe, the shadow of which reveals the stony bottom...fully as compelling as the canoe itself. In fact, they are inseparable...there may be a message here...in fact, I'm pretty sure there is. These photographs are both elegant and eloquent.