Randi Ward

holdfast xxi

holdfast xxi

Note from the artist:

holdfast: \hōl(d)-,fast\ n.
1a). a structure by which a plant clings to a flat surface
1b). an organ by which a parasitic animal attaches itself to its host
2a). something to which something else may be attached
2b). a restraint that holds something in place

The holdfast photographs are a testament to the terrifying struggle to find a place in an oftentimes indifferent world, a world that all too rarely reflects on the socioeconomic dynamics and discourses that shape us, our perceptions of ourselves and others, and our opportunities and access to particular resources. All of the photographs in this collection were taken in Morgantown, WV; the images juxtapose and problematize enculturated notions of growth, deterioration, and poverty in metaphorical terms that hinge on architecture, flora, and graffiti. Simultaneously, holdfast is a tribute to the complexity of the human spirit as well as its tenacious ability to turn an unforgiving wall’s crevice into an anchor— even in the bleakest of circumstances.


Randi Ward is a writer, translator, lyricist and photographer from West Virginia. She earned her MA in Cultural Studies from the University of the Faroe Islands and is a recipient of The American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Nadia Christensen Prize. Ward is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in AsymptoteBeloit Poetry JournalCimarron ReviewAnthology of Appalachian WritersVencil: Anthology of Contemporary Faroese Literature and other publications. For more information, please visit: www.randiward.com/about