Stonecipher by Bea Nettles

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Poetry about each season written using words photographed on gravestones that are nouns, verbs and adjectives located in Champaign County, Illinois. Bea tells us: "This summer I began to photograph the last names on headstones that could be used as parts of speech. I went out early in the mornings and spent peaceful hours walking the rows of stones with only the birds for companions. I found this quest fascinating and wondered how these family names came about. Often people were named after places, occupations, plants, animals, colors and personalities.  Many names became familiar, but some were absolutely unique. All were found within thirty minutes of my home in Urbana, Illinois, primarily in Champaign County. It seemed appropriate to arrange these words poetically by the seasons to emphasize the passage of time."

Artist Bio

Bea Nettles has been exhibiting and publishing her autobiographical works since 1970. Since that time, she has had over fifty one-person exhibitions including the International Museum of Photography at the Eastman House, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Light Gallery and Witkin Gallery in NYC. Her works have also been shown internationally in major group exhibitions. Her images are in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Polaroid International Collection, the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, the International Museum of Photography at the Eastman House, and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona. Her artists’ books can be found in special collections libraries at universities including Yale (Beinecke), Washington, and Virginia. She taught photography and artists’ books from 1970-2007 at Rochester Institute of Technology, Tyler School of Art, and the University of Illinois where she is currently Professor Emerita. Nettles continues to lecture and teach workshops internationally.