August 2007

A Photo Exhibit by Chris Willis

A graphic designer by trade, and an all-around perpetual creative, Chris has been a prolific photo taker even since college. A required introduction to photography course trained him to look for the unusual in the usual, the notable in the barely noticed. He takes images he affectionately calls “casual observations.” Through a variety of formats-disposable 35mm cameras, Polaroids, medium format Brownies, and now a pocket sized digital camera-he’s been recording the everyday world through his eyes for years.

Having an affinity for the voyeuristic experience of walking through someone else’s house, Chris loves going to local estate sales. For the last year, he has been taking his camera along-focusing on looking AT things instead of FOR things. He finds estate sales unique opportunities to catch not only small glimpses, but often full panoramas of people’s private lives and spaces. Chris tries to capture tiny vignettes of not-so-past lives while rummaging thru their former dwellings: dusty surfaces, cramped areas, bad lighting and all. Personal effects are not the only things left behind in these homes, they are also full of nostalgia, humor, bewilderment, longing, empathy, loneliness, and sometimes amazement.