Ron Jude: “Emmett” (2010)

By Doug Rickard, ASX, October 2010

The “past” is like a magical beast.

At times, it makes me want to cry as a pit in my stomach hits with the power of a ton of bricks. At other times, I want to cackle and howl like a hyena as visions flood the head, pouring out from memories that are triggered by sounds or smells, or pictures. The “past”, yes, I can see in my minds eye who I was then, someone different, another me in third person, frozen forever in my head. In these wide awake dreams I see my youth and the exploding strong will demanding that I think for myself and let no one else call my shots. I see magic contained in my innocence and in the absence of everything that I had yet to know. In my youth I could only look ahead but now, here I am and increasingly I see so much that is moving behind.

Perhaps it is then a ghost of me that I see, standing there, a partial figure or symbol of something, distant and fading… rapidly moving away.




And here now from Ron Jude comes Emmett (2010). I turn the pages and as I sit with it in my hands all that I can feel is my “past” and its ghosts and this magical beauty of that beast. A strong melancholy sets in as sadness and a sort of mourning mingles with a kaleidiscope of beauty and that vision of long ago times. Although the images on the page are not my own, what “Emmett” tells is the universal story of youth and the fleeting, your youth and mine. Ron Jude’s memory and the viewers are all here to be in a way, intertwined. A shared time capsule of sorts, and a rush back into the mind.

You know that feeling. You catch it through a scent, a song or a sound and everything comes rushing back, your minds eye is jump-started and you go quickly to the places of your past. Your eyes stare off as they are cast downward and you can only see within. This is “Emmett”.



Of time capsules and lost youth, of magical places and greasy faces, of gasoline and big motors and power and of freedom and the urge to sin. Of touching and shivering and howling and quivering, of coming and of wide eyed grins and devastating energy and running like the wind.

Of all that was waiting out there for you and of everything that lay ahead.

Of electric-bright-shining… and shooting stars and no fear of being dead.

Sssshhhhhh, don’t tell me anything about the reality, just leave me with my own story of “Emmett” and of myself, and all that is still left in my head.

What a book.




Photographs by Ron Jude.
The Ice Plant, 2010. 80 pp., 40 color and 9 black & white illustrations, 6¾x9½”.

Available through The Ice Plant, Photoeye, Artbook and Amazon.








BOOKS: Ron Jude

* Emmett (2010)
* Alpine Star (2003)

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(© Doug Rickard, 2010. All rights reserved. All images © copyright the photographer and/or publisher)

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