Tackling the Cyclops Once More

Nelson Lowhim
7 min readJul 19, 2021

Hi there, I’m back for some reflections on some art I’ve been working on.

A while back I wrote about my photography and tackling, as David Hockney calls it, the paralyzed cyclops. Mainly, I was dealing with what I was creating as well as the problem of taking what I took photos of and making it beautiful on the flat page (or screen).

These photo joiners (or joiners) were a joy as well as being a pain to deal with. But they managed to expand the eye of my camera and helped me take better care when creating them. Hell, I even got some published in a few magazines.

I moved away from that and, especially during the pandemic, dealt with collages that either did or didn’t mix the idea of a joiner, or photo with other things, like text (words heard or thought during a photo), or pieces of information picked up to better contextualize a specific photo.

Not only that, but sometimes it didn’t make sense to just use the photos from a single place and short stretch of time.

Instead, I joined together all experiences of a similar type, or even just mixed them up to try and tell a story. Here, for example, I’ve taken all the graffiti I saw in Naples and Rome and pieced them together.

The idea was to move away from just a singular thing and to try and give the sense of the whole experience, if that makes sense.

And even now I’m thinking perhaps I need a bigger canvas. Perhaps it should be all this graffiti and all the photos in the experience around that.

Well, I think you get what I mean.

The idea led me to rethink my photos from my trip to Alaska.

It was a trip right before I joined the army and was quite the experience. I went from the Arctic Circle to Kodiak Island. Such a wide experience can, in some ways be distilled into the the following collage:

Nelson Lowhim

Writer, Artist, Immigrant, & Veteran observing our mad dance of apes. Check out my Patreon & show some love: https://www.patreon.com/nlowhim