Yarmouth, ME, USA
Ken Pooley lives and works in Maine. Trained as a painter and sculptor (Davidson ‘85, Tennessee MFA ’89) he taught art and art-history, and worked in digital and web publishing, primarily in HigherEd. Ken has a deep knowledge of digital media production and distribution, he has worked with both Quicktime and Photoshop since their initial releases and distribution platforms from CD-ROMS to the World Wide Web. Coming home to Maine in 2007, worked in public broadcasting, including photojournalism, re-launched his exploration of photography as a fine art form as well as a means to tell stories and convey experience. Influenced as a student by the reductive aesthetics of modernism, he is working on an examination of picture space, and, in dialogue with Barthes’ Empire of Signs, examining layers of meaning, identity and aspiration in man-made environments from cities to the county fair. Ken's narrative work has included reporting the Maine High School Tournament, 2011 and 2015 stops on the World Cup Biathlon circuit, professional cycling and politics with both statewide and national implications.
This is a project looking at the levels of reality and fantasy found on a fair midway. While the vernacular may change, the desire to mold, manipulate and be manipulated by reality is a universal constant for human beings...we like to have fun. But it doesn't always work out...sometimes we are alone, disconnected, disenfranchised even in a crowd...
This series came about while working on the fair midway images, the Cumberland Fair brings in the Rawhide Rodeo, two shows a day...horses, barrels, calves, bulls, cowboys and cowgirls....its all there.
Maine High School Basketball
Once a year the whole state of Maine slows down and comes together to watch Basketball. Unless you live here it is hard to understand how different the various regions of the state are and how little they have in common. The high school basketball tournament transcends that but also gives towns, neighborhoods and even regions in both successful and hard scrabble regions of the state the chance to come together to find common desires and dreams. Having grown up in Maine, I still harbor feelings about towns I have never been to based solely on encounters in the basketball tourney. It is something I do because it makes me better at what I do but also because it is a chance to re-engage in stories and legends that connect across time and across the state.