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Rebecca Norris Webb: Night Calls
Text by Rebecca Norris Webb.
Rebecca Norris Webb’s meditation on fathers and daughters, one’s first landscape, caretaking of the land and its inhabitants, and on history that divides us as much as heals us
Rebecca Norris Webb (born 1956) first came across W. Eugene Smith’s “Country Doctor,” his famous Life magazine photo essay, while studying at the International Center of Photography in New York. She was immediately drawn to the subject of Smith’s essay, Dr Ernest Ceriani, a Colorado country doctor who was just a few years older than her father. She wondered: How would a woman tell this story, especially if she happened to be the doctor’s daughter?
In light of this, for the past six years Norris Webb has retraced the route of her 99-year-old father’s house calls through Rush County, Indiana, the rural county where they both were born. Following his work rhythms, she photographed often at night and in the early morning, when many people arrive into the world—her father delivered some one thousand babies—and when many people leave it.
Accompanying the photographs, lyrical text pieces addressed to her father create a series of handwritten letters told at a slant.
Featured image is reproduced from 'Rebecca Norris Webb: Night Calls.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Norris Webb followed not only her father’s route but his work rhythms as well, photographing largely at nights and in the early morning when so many come into the world — and just as many leave it.
…Norris Webb traced the county’s history and her father’s importance to it. However, the work becomes wider than this…The use of reflections and windows gives an impression of fleeting moments and this triggers a wider emphasis on small town life, community and the artist at once belonging and being removed from its hold.
Michael Ernest Sweet
One thing is certain — Rebecca Norris Webb can capture the essence of a place and its people with exquisite craft. Night Calls is dedicated to [her] parents and, as a love letter to one’s parents, it is an example for the ages.
Driving before sunrise on those deserted country roads, I could imagine [my doctor father’s] fatigue from working long hours—and the emotional weight he must have felt, while attending to the suffering of so many,’ Norris Webb says.
[Norris Webb] has an uncanny ability to make the reader feel the ghosts of the past peacefully lingering in the corner of these images.
STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.