The PhotoBook Journal

April 28, 2017

Douglas Stockdale – Bluewater Shore

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Artist:  Douglas Stockdale (born Butler, PA; resides Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)

Publisher: Self-published, hand-inscribed, limited signed edition of 99; Copyright © 2017

Text: English

Stiff-cover book of 32 pages with 16 prong-bound images, unnumbered; in poly slip-cover; Fultone® digital lithography, printed by Dual Graphics, Brea, California

Notes: Photobooks that present their images in a loose format, i.e., not permanently bound and sequenced but changeable, are still the exception. One such successful work was David Alan Harvey’s 2012 project entitled (based on a true story), dealing with life in Rio, with real and imagined storylines. That innovative volume (which received a number of important awards) was designed with double pages whose sequence could be rearranged to tell a different story from the viewer’s perspective, using the same images, but with new juxtapositions. A more recent predecessor to Bluewater Shore is Douglas Stockdale’s Pine Lake, reviewed previously; it shares a similar image presentation format with Bluewater Shore, which is its sequel.

In the case of Douglas Stockdale’s Bluewater Shore, we have a hand-inscribed and hand-assembled limited edition artist book presenting a simulated drugstore-issued set of 16 prints that take the viewer on an imaginary trip taking place in the 1940s: a young woman traveling to “bluewater shore” with her women friends. Since that was a time in which women were able to feel some greater sense of self and independence, they were not accompanied by males as might have been the expected practice in previous times. We see them on their journey, we see them at the beach in various activities, and – lo and behold! – suddenly males also appear in the pictures. That’s where the story gets interesting – we don’t know who they are, or what relationships there are between them and the women, but we can project our ideas into the pictures. There are also some children in the photographs, and we don’t know whether they are relatives, or bystanders, or symbols of things to come. Since the roll of film fictitiously presented in this publication is made up of only 16 pictures and the people depicted are not available, we are only able to guess what might be taking place. Consider it a story puzzle that allows us to participate vicariously. Creative photographic storytelling at its finest!

Douglas Stockdale has taken vernacular images from his family’s archives and has repurposed them for this semi-fictitious narrative as a new single set of 16. They have been appropriately aged and once printed slightly enlarged, prong-bound into a folder that simulates how prints were once delivered with processed rolls for a small additional fee (Kodak/Ansco flip-books). There is even a seemingly unintentional double exposure. Since they are bound with a prong that can be removed from the folder, the images can be rearranged and spread out on the table as might have once been the case if they were to be evaluated or placed in an album. Thus we can experience parts of a family history and relate what we see to our own history and our shared cultural past as well. A most enjoyable photographic puzzle of memories and times gone by.

This site has also featured Douglas Stockdale’s hardbound volume, Ciociaria.

Gerhard Clausing

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6 Comments »

  1. […] design and printing team at Dual Graphics (Brea, CA) for my recently self-published artist book, Bluewater Shore. I will have to admit that after relocating to Southern California, their Fultone® printing […]

    Pingback by Dual Graphics & Fultone Printing | The PhotoBook — May 9, 2017 @ 9:14 pm

  2. […] I was working on the printing of my artist book Bluewater Shore with the printing team at Dual Graphics, they offered me an opportunity to tour their facility to […]

    Pingback by Lighting donation – Dual Graphics | The PhotoBook — May 17, 2017 @ 2:53 am

  3. […] The donation was made by Dual Graphics, the Brea, CA book printer who printed my recent artist book Bluewater Shore. (yes, and as a result, I am providing them with some shout-outs as a way of saying Thanks!). I […]

    Pingback by Studio Lighting – Norman strobes | Doug Stockdale's Singular Images — May 19, 2017 @ 8:00 am

  4. […] as the edition has not been completely sold out yet. If interested, check out the book review by Gerhard Clausing and an overview of this artist book that I posted earlier, […]

    Pingback by Preparing Bluewater Shore for bookstore submissions | Doug Stockdale's Singular Images — June 10, 2017 @ 12:32 am

  5. […] Arcana: Books on the Arts, which is located in Culver City (CA) and present my three books; Bluewater Shore, Pine Lake and […]

    Pingback by Books at Arcana: Books on the Arts | Doug Stockdale's Singular Images — August 18, 2017 @ 4:31 pm

  6. […] Bluewater Shore, copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale […]

    Pingback by Open call – The Anamorphosis Prize | The PhotoBook Journal — September 16, 2017 @ 11:31 am


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