Fellow: Awarded 2008
Field of Study: Photography
Competition: US & Canada
During his Guggenheim Fellowship term, photographer Elijah Gowin completed his series "Of Falling and Floating," which consists of digitally manipulated images, often culled from the Internet, that he described in a Kansas City Star (April 19, 2008) article as "multiple figures from different places and times brought together photographically but synthesized the way a painter would do it." He sees the images he creates as "metaphors for a global feeling of anxiety, loss of ocntrol, the helplessness we feel."
Works from "Of Falling and Floating" were featured jointly with photographs from the series "Changing the Earth" by his father, Emmet Gowin, himself a Guggenheim Fellow in Photography (1974), in a 2009 exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography entitled "Pull of Gravity." Among the other series of works by Elijah Gowin are "Hymnal of Dream," "Watering," and "Lonnie Holley."
Elijah Gowin received a B.A. from Davidson College (1990) and an M.F.A. in photography from the University of New Mexico (1996). He then joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, as an Instructor in Art, before accepting an appointment in 1999 as an Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at St. Mary's College of Maryland. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Art History and director of Photographic Studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He was a Light Work Resident Artist at Syracuse University in 1998 and a Fellow at the Silver Eye Center of Photography in Pittsburgh in 2000. His work has been supported by grants from the University of Missouri (2003, 2006), the Charlotte Street Foundation (2006), Creative Captial (2007), and the Puffin Foundation (2007).
In 2008, Tin Roof Press published Maggie, a book of photographs by Emmet and Elijah Gowin of 98-year-old Margaret Cooper, Elijah's aunt, for which Edith Gowin, Elijah's mother, wrote the introduction. The book was very well received and was nominated for inclusion on Aperture West's list of the Best Books of 2008.