The series Relics documents the bucolic scenery of the American South and the rustic terrain of the South of France. My work is often described as “Southern Gothic.” To some extent, the subject matter and the gritty, elegiac feel of the process bear that out. However, it is the tension between the past and the present that permeates the imagery.
The pieces are photographic transfers on antique ceiling tiles reclaimed from historic homes and buildings undergoing remodeling or demolition.
This series of photographs traces U.S. Highways, the original routes before the Interstate system was built. Highway 17 is an example. It runs just south of the Mason-Dixon Line in Winchester, Virginia to Punta Gordo on the Florida coast. The construction of I-95 contributed to the demise of many “mom-and-pop” businesses along this path when traffic was diverted to the super highway. Yet much of the vintage flavor of U.S. 17 is preserved because corporate logo gas stations and fast food chains did not wipe out the architecture and landscape that was typical of an earlier era of roadside Americana.
The highway speaks to the heyday of the automobile and the nostalgia of the family vacation, but it is still a living, vibrant thoroughfare that is a vital mode of travel. It transports us forward to our destination and back in time to our childhood.
With an eye for the subtle beauty of abandoned places, photographer Meryl Truett documents the BeltLine, a loop of tracks that encircled Atlanta in its early years. Truett captures what remains of this important landmark, now slated for re-development, while contemplating the intersection of nature, community and the city. Phase One of the project records summer and early fall on the BeltLine.