Photographer Trent Davis Bailey recently returned to the North Fork Valley of Colorado after two decades. He’d spent time at North Fork with his aunt and uncle as a child, but it wasn’t until 2011 that he returned to the rural town of Paonia. Since then, he has spent years living, working in and documenting the area and its people.
The tenderly observed, softly lit images in the series The North Fork document life in Paonia, a place where things aren’t always as they first appear. In one photo, a girl stands against a white wooden-walled building superimposed with the shadow of another girl playing on a swing, but the photographer’s own shadow is oddly absent. In another image, a heavily pregnant woman reclines on brown rocks in the clear water of a shallow pool, heavy curls of Pre-Raphaelite hair decorating her naked body. Fertility weaves through the series in pregnant bodies and depictions of farming in the rural community.
In March, Trent’s work will feature in group show Grow-Conserve at Somerset House.
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