“Trying to define yourself,'' Tennessee Williams once said, “is like trying to bite your own teeth.'' 

I have been a habitué of classic car boneyards ever since I bought my 1936 Pontiac at age 15. My first go-to boneyard was Johnnie Monroe's in South Thomaston, Maine where I sourced parts for the Pontiac as well as a '29 Essex, a '41 Packard and a '54 Nash. While rummaging about I discovered incredible visual compositions in the distressed iron & glass. These compositions filled with line, color and texture inspired me the same way as some of the best abstract art. This experience changed the way I viewed the world. I swapped my toolbox for a camera and started to capture wild art.

At Rhode Island School of Design I was fortunate to study with Aaron Siskind, and at The Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops), took workshops with Paul Caponigro, Arnold Gassen & John Loengard which further fueled my enthusiasm. 

The abstract images I capture photographically are from real subjects. Therefore, they hold many levels of interest for me:

• the composition, texture, color

• the unspoken history of random events that created the subject matter, for which I can only guess or imagine 

• wabi sabi (see Wikipedia)

• that despite the resulting image being my abstract perspective, the subject is an actual concrete found object.

•that the subject is generally something not considered beautiful, for example; a dumpster., but when taken out of context can be visually stunning.

• the objects have changed slowly over many years to get to the point at which I find them, but despite seeming permanent & static, they, can (and do) rapidly change or disappear.

• the interpretations expressed by viewers' imaginations.

People are taught to recognize and categorize all that they see. Abstractions reach deep into personal experience & imagination.  My images may evoke a memory, an emotion, or a reminder of something visually similar. In a way I have a disadvantage; I know what I have photographed. Anyone else viewing  my photographs is unencumbered by the influence of certain recognition and has a free range of imagination with which to appreciate their visual essence.  My work is interactive; it starts a discussion. I am always eager to hear responses from others as to what they see or how it makes them feel.

Enough of all this palavering, let the images speak for themselves!

All images copyright C E Morse. All rights reserved. 

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

Henry David Thoreau






Happiness is a bullet-nosed Studebaker.

Happiness is a bullet-nosed Studebaker.