Capturing Emigrant Lake on film

There will be a summer photography exhibition featuring images of Emigrant Lake by Suzy Birster Hudson starting Thursday, June 28.

The exhibit coincides with the summer opening of the Ashland High School Library, 201 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland, which will be open every Thursday through the summer from noon to 7 p.m. The photographs will be displayed on the library walls.

Artist's statement:

Emigrant Lake. Living far from the ocean, Emigrant Lake becomes a sea for me, allowing me to imagine the hills across the lake as foreign countries, which get further away as winter and spring advance and hills become islands. It is the Emigrant Sea, dividing the past from the present and the heat from the rain. The tiny little ocean of this valley calls to me with reminders of my place in time, how all things and their stories change.

Emigrant Lake has come to represent change on many levels for me. A creek corralled into service for humanity. Its history tells a story of wintering tribes, ambitious pioneers and valley development.

Each visit produces new images recording the transitions. Textures, surfaces, reflections, stories, roads to nowhere and cracked mud. From summer's noisy recreation to fall's exposed geology. From winter's dark painterly landscapes to spring's glassy reflective surfaces. I am drawn to the lake as it reveals its secrets to me. Each season uncovers something new to understand ... about its desperation ... its spoiled beauty.

Every year as the water subsides, arrowheads can be found from the days that the Shasta and Takelma Indians wintered there, below the snow and above the fog. An old highway is uncovered in the fractured clay at the end of summer bearing the ghost of the last century. Secrets and stories of change. The lake tells of its persistent abused splendor and it has allowed me to interpret it.

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