In the Southern Garden
IN the SOUTHERN GARDEN is an exploration of how individual identity and everyday life continue to unfold in the American South, a place where the past is always present and constantly in a state of revision by the people who tell and re-tell their stories over time. Using a 4x5 view camera, the image-making process is slow, deliberate and collaborative. This project looks at how Southerners understand and wear their own history. The American South is lush, green and dominated still by vast expanses of arable land that gave rise to slavery. The idea of a garden serves as a metaphor for the nature of memory, which is seeded and cultivated, and yet, grows wildly when left untended. The American South is a place that is tragic, strong, graceful, insolent, optimistic, beautiful, conservative yet wild — teeming with memories that are overgrown and intertwined like untended foliage along the banks of the Mississippi River.