By day, Casey Fox is the celebrated manager of Library Fund Development for the Knox County Public Library. Featured as one of the Knoxville News-Sentinel’s “40 under 40,” Fox gets kudos for her fund-raising efforts, particularly a capital campaign to help digitize the library’s historic archives.
But when she’s not busy contributing to the Library’s mission, Fox has a secret identity, and it’s one that Tomato Head has proudly unveiled and put on public display in our Market Square restaurant.
Casey Fox is also a photographer.
Now through May 1st, Fox presents her first solo exhibit in our downtown location. Titled “Landscaped,” the exhibit features a collection of images that Fox captured over the last 7 or 8 years but without intending to create a series. Fox says it was only after the fact that she realized that not only did she have enough shots for a show, she had also uncovered a style:
“I was just looking back through my pictures and realized, ‘oh this is what I do’. I remember sitting on the couch once looking through all my stuff and putting some pictures together in the computer and then turning to my husband, Jesse, and saying I think I have a show.”
Fox’s style is a natural one – the photos in the show are largely unrefined with only minimal post processing. This raw naturalism says Fox, is, in some ways, related to New Topographics, a movement that arose in the 1970s. The movement, in the words of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, marked a shift in photography as “Pictures of transcendent natural vistas gave way to unromanticized views of stark industrial landscapes, suburban sprawl, and everyday scenes not usually given a second glance.”
Fox captures this quality – her lighting is all natural and the photographs are almost always straight on with any attempt to manipulate the landscape – not even through angled shots. She makes a point of that because, “I like the subjects to speak for themselves. I guess that’s another reason I don’t do weird angles or anything – I just like presenting the buildings, or whatever the subject is, and letting it be there and not projecting a lot on to it. “
But that’s not to say that there’s no romanticism in Fox’s exhibit – there very well may be, but it’s a romanticism that the visitor and viewer will bring.
Many of the shots in “Landscaped” were captured in East Tennessee, and some of those are practically redolent with
nostalgia – an abandoned and overgrown store front, an old house seemingly inhabited by the trees that crowd it, even a shot of empty road and overpasses evoke a distinct feel of a familiar landscape and the travels and memories once made there.
Of course, those are personal reactions – you’ll enjoy forming your own.
“Landscaped”, an exhibit of photographs by Casey Fox will be on view at the downtown Knoxville Tomato Head Restaurant from April 3rd to April 30th, 2017. The exhibit will then display at the West Knoxville Gallery Tomato Head from May 2nd to June 5th, 2017.