Are you proud of your inner 'kook'? Jim Babwe is. In pursuing a story about the popular statue dubbed the another living, breathing Cardiff kook was unearthed: Local photographer, poet, and retired teacher, Jim Babwe.
A Cardiffian for the past 20 years, Babwe is traversing the globe through Photoshop and taking the Cardiff Kook statue with him. He and friend Fred Caldwell have launched Greetings from the Cardiff Kook, a wacky series of postcards featuring the Cardiff Kook superimposed in various locations.
“Let me make this clear,” said Babwe, “I did not decide or plan the Kook's location or any content for the photos. Those decisions were his, and only his.”
The statue, which is officially titled Magic Carpet Ride, is constantly the object of pranks, as locals have made a habit of The postcard series, however, takes that humor up a notch. For proof, just browse the photos and captions in
There are ten postcards in the series, and though they are available in limited numbers, they will be available at the November 20
Babwe’s love of photography began in the summer of 1966. It was then when he took a beginning photography class at Whaley Junior High in Compton, CA.
“We used shoe boxes and waxed paper to make pinhole cameras and we learned to develop and print photographs,” said Babwe. His first experimental photos involved subjects such as “fences, dogs, hamburgers, and a weird assortment of gas stations around town.”
When asked about his favorite locations in Encinitas to take photos, Babwe explained he had two favorite locations: indoors, and outdoors. Babwe also said his favorite place to take pictures is “in the here and now. I've been trying to figure out how to bring photos back from the future, but no luck there yet. Living in the past is seldom a good idea, so I try to stay away from those kinds of assignments.”
“I don't remember a day when I haven't taken pictures,” said Babwe. Currently working on an industrial project, Babwe is busy photographing “the dismantling, relocation, and rebuilding of gigantic metal stretch forming machines for Stretch Forming Corporation.” After the company relocated its operations to Perris, CA, from two facility locations in Rialto and Murrieta, Babwe began shooting photographs of “large parts for airplanes, structural frames for architectural use, and other curved metal components for things such as escalators and buses.”
Apart from photography, Babwe also frequents and enjoys participating in Encinitas’ poetry slams and other reading opportunities in San Diego and Southern California. “Although I enjoy sharing my poems, some people might say that the more accurate word (instead of ‘sharing’) would be ‘inflicting.’ So, yes . . . I enjoy inflicting my poetry upon the unsuspecting and otherwise.”
Babwe also has a company called Recursive Media to highlight his photography and multimedia projects. For Babwe, the name has significance. "‘Recursive’ provides me with a reminder about the importance of learning that's ongoing.”
Babwe is available to photograph any event around town and for photo restoration consultations. For more photo links and contact info, please visit: http://www.recursivemediaone.com