Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Favorite Photobrooks of 2013

That time of year again. I saw many great brooks in 2013 and as always it was very tough narrowing down my choices to a short list. Here are my favorites, listed below in no particular order:

Gingham's Brook, Worcester, MA

This garishly bright creation has an energy and handmade feel that mischievously plays with notions of still life and whitewater. As far away from traditional riparian structure as you can imagine, but oddly intoxicating. Various holes and eddies allow Gingham's Brook to revisit its own past without ever seeming anti-diluvian. 

Foster Creek, Durango, CO

Foster Creek splashes into the international scene while stretching the boundaries of what a brook can be, quite literally. A beautiful, lyrical artist's stream, composed primarily of glacial melt and exhibiting great craft and a poetic vision, full of sentiment without being sentimental, not to mention plenty of sediment. Streaming will never be the same again after this brook.

Cottingham Beck, Wales

A fine example of how powerful and expressive small streams can be when the stake is personal, Cottingham Beck beckons both the angler and the casual picnic with equal flair. Daisies and ferns introduce botanical relief while emphasizing the sort of thoughtful touch that separates landmark brooks like this from the common gravity-led rabble.

(Untitled) Rivulet, Giverny, France

A lot of brooks are made about the creek's relationship with the ocean. This is one of the more intelligent and interesting in an aquatic sense. One of the few seasonal rivulets to make the list, this poignant meditation on gravity and memory is as evocative as it is beautiful. 

Yat-K00 Run, Mongolia

A natural dell brilliantly reimagined as an artist brook, this minor freshet perfectly encapsulates the ephemeral beauty of nature. Yat-Koo Run pulls back the digital curtain and teases apart the possibilities of the image in the 21st century while careening down its sobering journey through the back trails of Western Mongolia. The surrounding deciduous canopy invites viewers to wade right in while affirming that one can't judge a brook by its cover.

Cripple Creek, Flint, Michigan

A beautifully produced volume of water from one of the true original voices in hydrology, Cripple Creek buffers a dying auto city and offers an affecting portrait of America struggling in the face of depletion and worn-down dreams. Water flows through a land of modern ruins and ancient mysteries that never offers solutions, only questions and riddles. The third brook from this waterway is a truly original vision and once again hits top form on its inevitable course downward to stasis.  

Regal Rush, Queensland, Australia

What a pleasure to discover this well produced and designed brook nestled at the bottom of the world. Regal Rush may not have the velocity or flash of its peers, but its calm pooling effects allow the viewer to discern a level of polish and personal reflection too often missing from today's common rindles. Make no mistake, gravity's hand is at work. But also the imprint of natural genius. A promising debut.

Upton Brook, Darjeeling, India

The tireless and brilliant Upton makes the list yet again. This special edition coursing with rocks and assorted ephemera abuts a beautifully tipped in slope, allowing the current to become as visceral as it is transgressive. The unbound design unlocks Upton Brook's latent aquatic characteristics, allowing it to flow inevitably and cathartically downstream like, well, a river to the sea. 


Richard M said...

I won't lie. We don't really use the word "brook" here in Australia to describe small flowing bodies of water.
Recommend you localise the post as "Favourite Photostreams of 2013".

Hernan Zenteno said...

Only eight? Seriously? I catched the idea with less examples. I guess, now I am not sure. Ummm