Writers’ Wednesday – 10/11/17

Writers’ Wednesday

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
5:00 – 5:30 pm – Book Signing
5:30 – 6:30 pm – Lecture

Bodie Image by Will Furman

This month’s guest speaker is photographer Will Furman. He will talk about his latest book with Nicholas Clapp called Bodie: Good Times & Bad.

Author Nicholas Clapp and photographer Will Furman portray Bodie in both vivid words and stunning photography-a town that had two sides, aptly described in an 1870s account…

On the eve of her family’s departure for booming Bodie, a little girl was said to have gathered her dolls, that they might join her as she knelt by her bed, her prayer concluding with a somber…”Goodbye, God; we are going to Bodie!”

Word was that the camp was hard-bitten, desperado-ridden. Getting wind of the girl’s farewell to the Almighty, The Weekly Bodie Standard reported that, oh no, that wasn’t what the she had mind. Not at all. Someone had gotten the punctuation wrong. What she surely said was…”Good, by God, we are going to Bodie!”

There were, in fact, two Bodies. On one hand, it was “a fearfully and wonderfully bad place” stalked by shootist in black swallow-tailed coats. On the other hand, it was a town of hard-working pioneers who dressed their little girls in starched white frocks and met adversity with charity and good cheer. As he passed through, Mark Twain mused that in Bodie virtue versus vice made for exciting times, and he’d have it no other way. He was to add, “It was a plain wonder how man carried on under such circumstances.”

Will Furman is a photographer with a distinct eye for the serenity and magic of nature – and for echoes of the Old West. He has pioneered what he describes as Inside-Out, a single image technique that utilizes both the reflectivity and translucency of windows to create an image with multiple planes. The result conjures a Bodie that was, haunting and evocative. “When we visit historic places,” Will asks as he photographs, “What did it feel like to live back then? That feeling is what he tries to capture in each photograph. It allows the viewer to feel, for a moment, that they had returned to yesteryear.”

After his presentation on Bodie, Furman will talk about his new Inside-Out technique and show examples of it applied in historic towns in the west. There is no double exposure. No superimposition of two images, just one press of the camera button. The results draw the viewer into the image in a new way. People who like ghost towns, like this presentation. It’s different. The towns come alive because each person experiences each image differently.

Last month Will Furman gave this presentation at the California State Library in Sacramento. They have asked him to mount a photographic exhibition of Inside-Out images at the library.

The Writers’ Wednesday Lecture Series, held the second Wednesday of each month, features a different author who takes part in a book signing, a presentation and a question-and-answer session with the audience.

The intent of the program is to highlight writers that specifically focus on Nevada, the Great Basin or the West in general. The authors talk about the content of their books, but also share details about the creative process.

Admission to Writers’ Wednesday is $5 for adults; free for members and children 17 and younger. Seating is limited and attendees are encouraged to arrive early to get their seats. For more information, call (775) 688-1190.