It was an ordinary business trip in June 2020. I went to photograph a blacksmith: he needed pictures for his website. Tryon is a small town located in the escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tiny and cozy place with a population around 1600 people. In the early days people used to build such towns along railroads. The workshop where I had to do a photo session was located on the hill with a picturesque view of Tryon. I couldn’t ignore such a view and asked the owner to set up my tent next to his workshop. I always have my camping equipment with me when I travel by car.
After his permission I had a one million dollar view in front of me and a mystical abandoned railroad behind me (during the choo-choo train era the workshop’s location was a coal station).
After a long day of photographing my buddy blacksmith, I went for a walk to photograph the textures of Tryon. I photographed vintage bricks and windows. Live music came from the nearest restaurant. People were having fun. It was a very productive day. I was physically tired but really pumped emotionally.
“And I’m feeling good” – I tried to sing one of my favorite songs.
Suddenly, when I turned my head to the other side of the street I saw a sculpture. I came closer and I was amazed. It was a sculpture of HER. On the side part of the monument I read: “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times”…”Dr. Nina Simone, Music Icon, Freedom Fighter & National Treasure…”.
An electric current ran down my spine. I came to the place where one of my favorite singers was born and I even didn’t know about it 5 minutes ago.
10 minutes later I was walking along the abandoned railroad and thinking about Nina’s life. My imagination painted pictures of her. I saw how Nina took a train with her suitcase to go to her big creative life. I saw her in the railway carriage. She was looking through the window at her town. Her eyes were full of worry and expectations.
I was walking and photographing wood textures of sleepers and thinking about Nina’s songs. I saw random items on sleepers and unconsciously built still compositions with them. Each picture from this series represents Nina’s song.
What a great meeting! Thank you, Nina!
"In The FOOTSTEPS of nina simone" series is available for collectors. contact for details.