The first time I met Emmet Gowin was in 1999. I was new to teaching, and putting together an exhibition about his work as both an artist and a teacher in our campus gallery.
There are a number of things about that first conversation I still remember.
If you follow these pages at all, you know that I am currently working on a book about handmade photographic processes. There are a number of great artists contributing pictures to illustrate this book, including Emmet Gowin.
Also included are some pictures by Deborah Luster, specifically some pictures she made from a series called One Big Self, a series of portraits of prison inmates in Louisiana. They are wonderful portraits, full of humanity.
In that first conversation with Emmet he told me how none of us are different from prisoners, at least in an existential way. We are all living a life term, bound by suffering and isolation.