Tracing Footsteps: A Journal of Home and the Road – The Photography of Bill Payne

October 26, 2013 - December 7, 2013
Reception: March 1, 2024 at -62169984000
Bill Payne

‘I was invited to a Veterans Day event in Calumet, Michigan. It was a privilege to have been there. We owe so much to those that serve’–Bill Payne
[Bill Payne, one of rock’s most talented keyboardists, will perform at the Narrows on Friday, November 1st. Gabe Ford, drummer for ‘Little Feat’, will be joining Bill for this performance.] Artist Statement: I have spent the last forty-one years traveling. I play keyboards with the band, Little Feat. My life as an artist is personified in my music, writing, and photography. My son, Evan, introduced me to photography in 2003. I had asked him to photograph me for my first instrumental solo CD, Cielo Norte (North Sky). I asked if I could try using the camera. I pressed the shutter; the feeling was like playing middle C on the piano when I was a child. Magic. I was hooked. My approach to photography and music is eclectic, born of myriad influences. Ansel Adams’ photo, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941, reflects the complexities of life, death, beauty, sadness, continuance, the solitude and enormity of the west, and above all, our relationship with nature and the spiritual. It is simply an inspirational photo, and to my mind, analogous to a Symphony. I don’t separate myself from my art. It is a summation and continuance of what I am, what I was, and what I hope to be. The uniqueness of how we see the world and how we express that through our art is what gives weight and substance to our voice. Maintaining and developing that voice is an arduous task that involves trusting the instincts of exploration and discovery, commitment to a concerted regimen of discipline (which involves trial and error), and ultimately, once you have the tools in place, the art of simply letting go. I also don’t want to downplay the aspect of having fun. The worst we can do, as artists, is acquiescing to conventions that tie our hands. I refer to it as, ‘keeping the child alive.’ Art is the ultimate embrace of our being human, with all its repercussions. But it also allows us to transcend the familiar terrain and investigate worlds, relationships, experiences, we can only dream of, and live, though fleetingly, as the gods of our own realm. Magic indeed.