Read more about some of my current projects:

 

 

  Coconut, a rescued sheep living at Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge in North Carolina

Coconut, a rescued sheep living at Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge in North Carolina

SPOTLIGHT: Sanctuaries


This is an ongoing project which now includes many sanctuaries devoted to rescuing farm animals in the worst of circumstances and giving them a home.  Ten percent of sales of my photographs are donated to those organizations to assist them in their work.

  a slave dwelling in South Carolina

a slave dwelling in South Carolina

spotlight: the slave dwellings

The fragile wooden shacks I've photographed once were home to slaves in the United States. These walls offered the only privacy in the lives of the enslaved during the few hours they spent there each night, brackets to their days of labor and abuse.

Out of the tens of thousands of slave houses only a tiny minority remain. Almost all have disappeared leaving nothing but foundation stones behind. A few survived in the decades after slavery as homes for sharecroppers and other poverty level workers. Some have been repurposed as everything from rental units to guest houses despite cries of sacrilege and disrespect of their history. A handful have been rebuilt and reclaimed for use as educational tools. A scattered few are crumbling away in silence even now.

Small and plain, the slave dwellings were built in a similar style regardless of the location.

America has a troubled relationship with its past and as visible evidence the slave cabins cause discord today, with some opponents openly expressing their desire to see the past disintegrate and with it reminders of that time period.

I'm photographing with an 8x16" film camera and printing silver gelatin photographs in the darkroom. Some I am altering with bleach to visually communicate the sense of fading away of the structures.

There are slave dwellings throughout the country beyond the expected southern states. In this ongoing project I intend to seek out those slave structures that are on private lands and unrestored, and photograph them and their environment before they are gone.

I am inspired by the work of two people in particular: Joseph McGill, a historian who has set a goal of sleeping in every existing slave dwelling in the country as a way to honor his ancestors and keep this history visible, and Jobie Hill, an academic whose work has focused on slave dwellings, both the location and preservation of the buildings, and their effect on those who lived in them.

  Farmer Bob, photographed for my project Hard Coal about the last independent anthracite miners

Farmer Bob, photographed for my project Hard Coal about the last independent anthracite miners

READ ABOUT: Ongoing Photographic Projects

Many of my images for sale are taken from intensive projects I'm working on, including former slave dwellings across the US, threatened old-growth forests, farm animals in sanctuaries, the last anthracite miners, and the changing landscape of my rural hometown. To read more about these ongoing projects click the button below.