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Casey Martin Blog

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Something In The Way

From 2010-2012 my wife, Amanda, and I made three trips to photograph the Pacific Northwest. Our second trip included visiting the Olympic National Park, the Hoh Rainforest, and the Washington Coast. The natural beauty of the landscape is awe inspiring from the gorgeous shores of Ruby Beach, to the cool crisp mornings in the Hoh Rainforest, and the brutal salt laden fishing boats docked in LaPush, Wa.
Upon traveling back down the coast to our home base of Portland, Or, we came across a sign welcoming travelers to a small town at the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula that read “Aberdeen, Wa, Come As You Are”. I was immediately taken back to junior high school where I read the autobiography of Kurt Cobain. Unassumingly realizing that this was Cobain’s hometown, I knew right away that we would be making a pit stop. We stopped in at the local 7-11 and I asked the cashier if she happened to know where the bridge was that Cobain lived under for a short period of time and wrote about in his song “Something In The Way”. She not only gave me detailed directions, but also offered for me to visit a house that he had lived in where her friend was currently renting. We went straight to the bridge and what I found was an American treasure. The bridge had been turned into a shrine with artwork and personal messages to Kurt from his adoring fans. Just being there gave me chills as I noticed the muddy banks from which Cobain caught fish to eat as described in his lyrics and book. Standing there, one couldn’t help but think about all the lives he’s touched with his music.
Cobain was a child of divorce and it was evident in his lyrics that the burden weighed heavily on him as a child. That teen angst struck a chord within the youth around the world dealing with the same difficulties growing up and catapulted him into being an American musical icon. Unfortunately, Cobain was not looking for super stardom and couldn’t handle the superficial idea of what success meant at that level when he took his own life in 1994. I remember Cobain describing his hometown as wet and dreary with which he wasn’t too far off, but it seemed like it was only a short distance from some of the most beautiful places in the United States. I wish that he had been able to find that beauty which surrounded him before it was too late. Hopefully this bridge and his music will serve as an ever-changing monument to who he was and what he stood for.
In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s band, Nirvana, Casey Martin brings you a detailed glimpse of the bridge in Aberdeen along with beautiful landscapes and abstractions of the Pacific Northwest.

On View: October 30 – January 28, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday November 5, 2015 @ 7-9pm
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