Resonance of the Machinist

Rebecca Zeiss's avatar Rebecca Zeiss

The toolchest was a gift from my parents who had stored it after my step-grandfather’s passing. They had cared for it and now it was my turn. I felt apprehension and obligation to maintain the shiny surfaces and beautiful patina. As I held the artifacts, I found myself reminded of how little I knew about their owner, Oakley Dobbins. He was a machinist at the Allison Engine Company, making and designing early premier jet engines. He came to our family late, born in Indianapolis in 1903, married my grandmother in 1978, and lived to the age of 90, near the Indianapolis Speedway. These six images, conceived through a variety of camera formats, explore the objects through the lens with its infinite possibilities of what is revealed and/or concealed. I approached this project with no preconceptions or expectations of what the narrative would be, only an idea of how I would look for it. In the end I find myself surprised at the visual conclusions and new questions to these stories.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 0
  • Medium: Large format black and white photographs printed on brushed aluminum
  • Width: 26
  • Year created: 2012
  • Height: 4