Holownia’s work gives permission to see beyond the obvious and the mundane. His photographs hint at untold, unseen stories, latent in the world around us. He asks his viewers to quiet their lives and minds, to seek out the faces in the fire and the wolves in the rocks. Holownia’s work proves Thoreau’s point that what matters is what you see, and in his seeing we are able to look at the world in a new way, to feel ourselves suspended in the passage of time, resilient like a tree in a storm.
–Sarah Fillmore, from The Nature of Nature, The Photographs of Thaddeus Holownia 1976 – 2016, February 2017
At the heart of Thaddeus Holownia’s photographic enterprise is the need to look hard at what matters and to fix the memory of that looking. All his work has been about considered regard, about the intimate relationship between the eye of perception and the “I” of the perceiving photographer.
In his Series, Thaddeus Holownia deals with things small and insignificant but specific to the immediate sphere, in order to arrive at statements about the greater whole.
Fundamental roles in his photographic examinations are played by human intrusion into the natural environment, the power of time to bring about change, and the possibilities of human subjects to be reflected in objects. All three groups of works are series, but there is different intention behind such use of repetition. If one were to call Headlighting a sociogram of the mid-seventies, then the photographs of Rockland Bridge portray the continuous flow of time. The images of Jolicure Pond are notations of atmospheric changes, but at the same time an attempt to describe cyclical recurrence and therefore something endless and eternal.