Notions of Home Exhibit at Photographic Center Northwest

Two of my photographs from On the Wing Line are in the exhibit Notions of Home at Photographic Center Northwest this fall. 

The Boeing factory is home for a large part of my life, more than I’d like. Those I work with are my extended family. We work on the factory floor building wings at an incredibly fast rate of 47 airplanes a month. Perhaps because we’ve worked the swing shift for so long, it has intensified our sense of it being a home away from home. Instead of dinners with our kids or spouses, we spend them with each other. 

We are together with each other more than our immediate families. We care for each other. We see each other through cancer treatment. We talk about difficulties in marriage together. There are births and funerals. We laugh and get irritated with each other, like any other family.

There’s a certain comfort I feel when I’m there that I don’t feel elsewhere. When I clock in, I feel the sense of coming home. I’m among people who care about me. It doesn’t mean I love my job. The pace is demanding and the pounding, drilling and blasting of horns is deafeningly loud. Like most blue collar jobs, our wages and working conditions are deteriorating, but it’s still possible to make a decent union wage. They are not what they used to be and we wonder if they ever will be again.

Many of us are very far from our birth homes. We come from all over the world and have been thrown together. This series is an exploration of my extended family who work on the Wing Line.

Aman, Horizontal Build Line Inspector I grew up in Punjab, and moved here when I was 12 years old. I come from a family of 4 girls and 2 boys, I am the youngest of all. I grew up on the farm where we had chickens, parrots, peacocks, and 2 dogs.  My house is built in the middle of fields of mustard, wheat, corn, We grew our own vegetables and food. We had cows and buffalos for our dairy needs.   I love my job and people I work with. I feel blessed to have great co-workers as friends, as guides, and I appreciate their care and support. I feel my coworkers are my second family. I would like to go back and visit my homeland every few years, but I would like to settle down here in the States permanently.   I dream to own some land and build a home similar to the one I had back home in country side, with a few chickens, dogs, and rabbits as my pets since I can’t have fields of mustard, wheat or cotton or corn here in the States. I would settle down to be surrounded by the natural beauty of Washington State.  

Aman, Horizontal Build Line Inspector

I grew up in Punjab, and moved here when I was 12 years old. I come from a family of 4 girls and 2 boys, I am the youngest of all. I grew up on the farm where we had chickens, parrots, peacocks, and 2 dogs.  My house is built in the middle of fields of mustard, wheat, corn, We grew our own vegetables and food. We had cows and buffalos for our dairy needs.   I love my job and people I work with. I feel blessed to have great co-workers as friends, as guides, and I appreciate their care and support. I feel my coworkers are my second family.

I would like to go back and visit my homeland every few years, but I would like to settle down here in the States permanently.   I dream to own some land and build a home similar to the one I had back home in country side, with a few chickens, dogs, and rabbits as my pets since I can’t have fields of mustard, wheat or cotton or corn here in the States. I would settle down to be surrounded by the natural beauty of Washington State.

 

Olga, Parts Inspector I come from the little city on the Pacific ocean called Soviet Skaya Gavan’ (Soviet Harbor). To work on the wing line means for me lots: new friends, like a family relation, new info on how to do things - food for the brain.  My passions are any kind of creations — including designing shirts and dresses. I created a Medusa from tree roots with snakes and I painted her and put a dress on her in my garden … I did decor on our fence around the house with spikes made from tree branches. Last month I did the first felting top for myself, felted home shoes, hats and cat domes. Any kind of art is my passion.  

Olga, Parts Inspector

I come from the little city on the Pacific ocean called Soviet Skaya Gavan’ (Soviet Harbor). To work on the wing line means for me lots: new friends, like a family relation, new info on how to do things - food for the brain. 

My passions are any kind of creations — including designing shirts and dresses. I created a Medusa from tree roots with snakes and I painted her and put a dress on her in my garden … I did decor on our fence around the house with spikes made from tree branches. Last month I did the first felting top for myself, felted home shoes, hats and cat domes. Any kind of art is my passion.

 

Thunderbird on 16th Ave., White Center

Long Shot, 2017

I've participated in the Photo Center Northwest's Long Shot event since it's inception. This year 695 individuals from 32 states and 14 countries participated and we raised over $26,000 for the Photo Center.

I submitted five images to the jurors and this shot from 16th Ave in White Center was chosen to hang as part of the exhibition. It was the end of a long day that started at the Georgetown Carnival and later included watching the Rainier Roller Girls bout against the Spokannibals at South Gate Roller Rink. This was was the last subect I photographed that evening after wandering a bit in White Center with my friend Ann-Marie.