Photography can stop time; it’s one moment in time that will never come again.
That moment is what Marilue Cook tries to capture with the photos she takes.
For 30 years, the 63-year-old Goldsboro Pediatrics pediatrician has used one side of her brain for medicine. Now her artistry uses the other.
Cook has her own studio at the Arts Council of Wayne County, Cherche Midi Photography, which is French for looking for noon. And that’s sort of what she does with her photography, something she will tackle full time when she retires from medicine.
She has had no formal training, aside from a National Geographic workshop in New York about eight years ago and another workshop in Santa Fe, N.M.
“My parents were both artists,” Cook said. “My dad would do pen, ink and oils and my mom did acrylics and watercolor. I think that was a strong influence growing up.”
Cook has taken a lot of photographs here in Goldsboro.
“Our city is beautiful and a lot of people have spent a lot of time and passion to revitalize our downtown, and it’s just gorgeous,” she said.
Cook not only takes photographs of things and places right here in Goldsboro, but also in foreign countries.
Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
She has one photo of it at night lit up with blue lights, part of a celebration of the European Union.
She photographs a lot of landscapes, but also has a passion for bicycles, like the one she took a picture of in New York that had been painted white and decorated.
“I was told that when a biker dies in an accident, they paint the bike white and decorate it,” Cook said.
“It’s interesting how you come with your own story and why you do things and you talk to other people and they see your photography and they’re adding right to the story line.”
But whatever she’s photographing, Cook is always trying to depict a moment of time.
“I look for something that may appear ordinary, but from an unusual perspective, becomes extraordinary,” she said, “as well as commenting on the beauty in the mundane.”
Her philosophy is that photography should evoke a response from the viewer.
“Whether that be a memory of a place once visited, a hope of discovery and wanderlust or a stimulation of our senses,” she said.
“It could be the smell of freshly mowed green grass, the gritty feeling of sand between the toes, the taste of plump, ripe tomatoes, the sound of the Sunday morning church bells or seeing beyond the fog’s edge into the forest.
“You want people to enjoy your photography. And if you can engage them through their senses and if you can take them to a place in your photography where they relate to it or gives them a special connection, a special moment, that’s cool.”
Cook has had the opportunity to travel a lot and has wanted to capture some of those moments for herself. Photography does just that for her.
When taking photos, Cook likes to look at her subject from different angles.
“I’m looking up, I’m looking down around, through a gate, over a gate, through flowers,” she said. “I’m on the ground. It makes a photo different.”
And when she’s traveling with her friends, Cook admits to always looking back.
“You never know what you’re missing if you’re looking forward all the time,” she said.
Since January, Cook has also tried her hand at glass blowing, taking classes at the Glass Station.
“I think it’s magical. It’s a dance. It’s the flow of glass. It’s hard. It’s difficult technically. But it’s so creative, breathtaking, science and creativity.”
But photography has opened an entire new world to Cook.
“Being in medicine for 30 years, I have been focusing on the more scientific and technological aspects of the world,” she said. “Using the other half of the brain with photography helps me fulfill my spirit.”