Douglas Lowell
About The Work

from lighght

This is a selection from lighght. The title is a one-word poem by Aram Saroyan, and is used with kind permission of the author. The work is based on the 13th century book The Zohar, which is a primary text within the Jewish mystical tradition known as the Kabbalah. (See the recent nine-volume Pritzker edition, published by Stanford University Press.)

At the heart of The Zohar is a structure of ten connected spheres, called the Sefirot, each of which are attributes of God. One flows into another from the top on down to our material world.

The ten sephirot are:

Keter (The Crown. Pure compassion.)
Hokhmah (Wisdom. The first spark of light.)
Binah (Understanding. The mother of all the sefira below her.)
Hesed (Unrestricted love for all that exists.)
Gevurah (Power and Judgment. Also the origin of evil.)
Tif'eret (Beauty. The God of the Talmud.)
Netsah (Endurance. Prophecy.)
Hod (Splendor. Profecy.)
Yesod (Foundation. The phallus.)
Malkhut (Kingdom. The Shekhinah.)

If you're so inclinded, you can read Gershom Scholem's excellent slim selection called
Zohar: The Book of Splendor.



from The Crab

This is a brief selection from The Crab. In July of 2012, my sister Elizabeth was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. This was the intitial impetus for this work.

 

As children, my siblings and I spent many hours crabbing on the Oregon coast with our family. I realized that if one of us had ever fallen into the river and drowned the crabs would have eaten us. The Crab is all about the things that feed us and the things that eat us.

In 2012 I began photographing the various themes in the work, both in Colorado and Oregon. I also started reading the complete poetry of William Blake,which definitely informed the work. Elizabeth died in December of 2013.

I'm still putting together the final edit of The Crab.



from Orion
 
Orion, in Greek mythology, was the greatest of hunters. He was a hero, in the classic Greek sense of the word, meaning part god, part human. He was giant of stature, and the most beautiful of men.

In the myth, Orion lives through a series of cycles that follow the same progression: from aggression, to transgression, to punishment, and to redemption. These cycles eventually end when Orion outrages (and possibly rapes) Artemis, his hunting-goddess companion, and is killed by Artemis through a deceit by her brother Apollo.

As I photographed Orion, I set out to find people who were agressively hunting for something, much in the same way I was hunting for pictures.

Orion
was nominated for the 2012 MACK First Book Award.


from The Brothers Grimm

“All ages are contemporaneous.”  -- Ezra Pound


A while back I started a series of photographs, initially conceived of as a book, called The Brothers Grimm.  The selection on this site is from this ongoing work.

The Brothers Grimm thinks about the idea that the tales collected by Jakob and Wilhelm are still being lived out today.

In making these images, I’m not looking for direct representations or  illustrations of the stories.  I’m looking for what the poet Jack Spicer called correspondences—as if the images in the present world and the figures of the tales were having a  conversation.