Review: ‘Between Gravity and What Cheer’ showcases Iowa’s quirks and charm

Between Gravity and What Cheer Book Release Event

FilmScene — Thursday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m.

Barry Phipps’ ‘Between Gravity and What Cheer,’ from University of Iowa Press.

Shot over the course of four years, Barry Phipps’ new book, Between Gravity and What Cheer: Iowa Photographs (published by University of Iowa Press), is a lovely 112 page book with 105 color photographs showcasing the quirks and charm found in small towns across the state.

Phipps set out to explore Iowa after relocating to Iowa City from Chicago, shooting hundreds of rolls of film in the process. In the pages of Between Gravity and What Cheer you’ll find a few of Iowa’s famous locations — the Buddy Holly crash site near Clear Lake and one of the covered bridges in Madison County — but it’s clear that Phipps was discovering Iowa for himself.

‘From Gravity to What Cheer.’ — photo by Zak Neumann

The photos are striking and timeless, with only the occasional car or wind turbine to remind you that they were shot in the last six years. Striking colors and lines fill each frame, whether the image is a streetscape or a small detail that has caught Phipps’ eye.

This book is sure to make any Iowa resident nostalgic and those unfamiliar with the state curious. It would be a delight for any photo book collector.

Studio Visit: Barry Phipps

Multimedia artist Barry Phipps began documenting the rural landscape of Iowa with his camera in 2012. Day trips in every direction produced a collection of photos titled "Iowa Photographs." Phipps has recently collaborated with the University of Iowa Press Short Fiction & Poetry to turn this work into a book titled "Between Gravity and What Cheer: Iowa Photographs" that will be published this May. We sat down with Phipps to discuss his photography in this studio visit presented by Oasis Falafel.

Posted by Little Village Mag on Monday, March 26, 2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.


Enjoy a tasting and drinks from the best chefs the area has to offer!

Presented by

Join us Saturday, February 15, 6 p.m.
@ Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.



America’s intimate festival experience featuring cutting-edge music, the Midwest’s premier indie book fair, and readings and community happenings across downtown Iowa City.