Stephen Crowley and Simon Norfolk
March 22 – June 9, 2002
While American bombs were raining down on Afghanistan, Stephen Crowley and Simon Norfolk were in Afghanistan recording the trauma of a nation already scarred by years of war. The Arthur Griffin Center is proud to present the work of these two outstanding photographers.
Using a crude handmade camera borrowed from an itinerant street photographer, Stephen Crowley recorded the faces of the Afghan people in a refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan and in the dusty town of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The resulting paper negatives were shot with a digital camera and transmitted by satellite phone to the New York Times.
Stephen Crowley’s distinctive style of shooting has challenged the traditional role of the news photographer at the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, Washington Times and now the New York Times. In February 2002, he was cited as “Photographer of the Year” by the White House News Photographers’ Association for a portfolio that included his essays “Voices of Afghanistan” and “A Day in the Life of President Bush.” Crowley is a 1976 graduate of the Southeast Museum School of Photography in Daytona Beach, FL. His work has been exhibited at the Library of Congress, The National Geographic Society, and the Corcoran Art Museum
Simon Norfolk’s dramatic, oversized landscapes of the destruction in Afghanistan were shot with a wooden 4″x5″ plate camera. The pictures were shot while the American bombardment of Afghanistan was still continuing in parts of the country, and show not only the latest bombardments, but also the layers of damage caused by years of warfare. Combining technical precision with a sense of wonder, he depicts utter destruction on a massive, Babylonian scale bathed in the crystal light of a desert sunrise.
Simon Norfolk’s work has appeared many times in the London Sunday Times Magazine, the New York Sunday Times, and La Republicca. His book, For Most Of It I Have No Words, received wide praise for its depiction of landscapes that have witnessed genocide, and those photographs have been widely exhibited in the UK, Europe and the United States. He has received many accolades, including awards from the Association of Photographers, the Royal Photographic Society, the 1999 Kobal award, and the prestigious 2001 World Press Award. His work is held by private collectors and in the collections of The Portland Art Museum, Oregon, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.