In Conversation with Taylor Galloway

Interviewed by Timothy Frazier
Images provided by Taylor Galloway

TF: How did you get into photography?

TG: On my 1st birthday my grandparents came to visit me in Clearwater, FL. My Grandfather was recording me climbing around on the carpet, I started to speed-crawl towards him and tried to grab the camera from his hands.  After I learned to walk my Mom would let me take pictures with disposable cameras and later gave me a polaroid camera to take portraits of my friends at school.  I've been making pictures on and off since then.

TF: Tell me about, The Callowhill Project.

TG: The Callowhill Project spawned from Red Bull contacting myself and Nick Massarelli, a graphic designer in Philadelphia, PA, about making a project based around a three day music residency in Philadelphia.  Red Bull let Nick and I have complete control of the ideas and final outcome, which allowed us to really run with some ideas. We wanted to make work about the Callowhill neighborhood in the city, which just so happens to be the neighborhood I live in here and where the venues for the residency were. Nick and I spent five days, sunrise to sunset, documenting the blocks of the original layout of the neighborhood.  Nick collected artifacts and trash off the street and made scan collages from these pieces. The project exists for one year at with a larger selection of images and collage. Our end goal was to give the audience at the venues a deeper look into the history of the neighborhood they were spending this short amount of time in. Each audience member was given a postcard with an image and design from the project.  They were able to keep the piece for themselves as a memory of their time in Callowhill or send it to a friend to write about their experience.

TF: Tell me about your project, Across the Street, from Heaven.

TG: 'Across the Street, from Heaven' is a narrative loosely based on my family's early life in rural Virginia. The project has been a way for me to understand more and more my place within my family tree. It started out as a simple trip to visit my Aunt Geneva and make a picture of the house for my Gram. There was a certain energy I felt when I walked the land, so I kept going back. Each trip that energy remained, along with new characters appearing all the time.

TF: There's very much this stillness to your personal work. It feels like I'm looking into a very specific moment in time. Could you talk a bit about your influences and aspirations?

TG: Many of the situations I find myself have a certain energy attached to them.  The farm in Virginia, 12th and Callowhill at 6:30am, the backyard of the home I was born in - these places have a charged energy from my personal history and I am trying to transfer into a photograph; something that will help me understand why this place has meaning to me. Walking around these areas making pictures is such a kinetic meditation for me. Having the camera forces me to pay attention to where I am in a hypersensitive way.  This concentration in a way lets me tune out and enjoy the feeling of simply being allowed to move through the space.

I really look up to Stacy Morrison, Jesse and Nelson Chan, Jordan Baumgarten, Keith Yahrling, Steven Smith, Alec Soth, McNair Evans, Morgan Ashcom, Tim Carpenter, Justine Kurland, and Vicky Sambunaris. All these folks have helped me see how to understand, shape, and communicate a visual voice. 

TF: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

TG: I'd love to have some sort of recharging power. To plug my finger in the socket for fifteen minutes and keep it moving. There never seem to be enough hours in the day and I'm not too big a fan of coffee.

TF: Future plans or upcoming projects? What can we expect?

TF: Over the next couple months I plan to start making work based around a road trip my girlfriend and I are taking, loosely based off of a road trip my Great Uncle Gene and his wife, my Great Aunt Maddie, took to go visit Gene's friends from his time in the Navy. I'm going to continue working on 'across the street, from Heaven', hopefully traveling further South in the early spring when the days start getting longer. Last summer I started documenting the Sprint Car racing community in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, I hope to continue this project in the summer months. The racing community is something I'm very foreign too, but highly interested in. I like to keep busy and a lot of times working on multiple ideas helps me give my brain a break from being consumed by one train of thought. The work tends to take on it's own form during these sporadic breaks and it helps me come back into the project with the excitement to dive in again. I really could use that recharging power...

Taylor Galloway is a photographer and story teller living and working in Philadelphia, PA. Taylor graduated with a BFA from Montclair State University.  Galloway's work explores place, time, and how one can move through these visually.