White Clapboard / Winter Light


Artist Statement

White-washed clapboard is the traditional exterior finish of early New England public architecture. The large majority of towns had a white clapboard meetinghouse and at least one, sometimes three or four, similarly clad church(es). Many of these buildings are still standing and in use today, more than two hundred years since they were built.

I have spent years meandering among the towns of southwestern New Hampshire – my “backyard”, as it were. However, it was not until the winter of 2016/2017 that I began to photograph their meetinghouses and churches.

I was intrigued by the winter light playing on these structures. The combination of the low angle of the sun, the relatively harsh light and the lack of leaves allowing light into places it does not penetrate in other seasons all seemed to make these structures interesting to my eye.

These photographs were made during a three-month period (from November 2016 through January 2017). I visited dozens of towns to make photographs; mostly in the late afternoon, but sometimes in the early morning. Many places were visited multiple times waiting for the proper combination of light, sky and time of day.

The dozen photographs shown here are my favorites from roughly one hundred finished photographs. Each photograph is captioned with the name of the structure as it is currently known and its location. The spellings used, particularly the issue of “meetinghouse” (as one word or two), represent the local usage.

 — Frank Gorga,  Antrim, NH (August 2018)