Field Notes

Louisiana Life Magazine article -

Field Notes; Searching for Southern Mythology

Our visual “Field Notes” describe the offhand moments and everyday iconography that is the essence of our culturally rich and immensely layered southern existence. 

Artist Statement:  When you’re young you’re not really paying attention - you’re absorbing it and don’t know and don’t care. Then all those subliminal things come together one day when you think you’re sophisticated and traveled and you’re not really old but these things all of a sudden - or slower maybe- mean something. A mythology. All those little glimpses and visual moments and internal memories. Who’ve thought that that would have added up to anything? But it has added up to making us us in the end. Me and George.  It’s a core thing, a feeling you get when you’re in certain places, when you see certain things.

Unremarkable things. Like the hog-wire gate at the entrance of my great aunts’ yard, the Indian mounds George played on out in the middle of cotton fields, the creeks deep in the ravines, the old flowers growing all over the place because people used to live around there, tar paper shacks. Then watery stuff; swamps, out of control vegetation, heat, sweat, bayous, the Mississippi. But not so simplistic because there’s poverty, pride, stagnation, unrelenting work, dirt, although I love the unsterilness.. There’s earthiness, very remembered histories, old stories, bad politics and people who care in spite of their bad politics. And people who have changed but still love the stories. A sense of shared histories and stories that cross economic, religious and racial boundaries. The land is deep and shadowy, mysterious and slow. With secrets of it’s own that we let it have and step around.  It’s contradictory and complicated and maddening - so much to fix, but don’t want to change it too much. Don’t genericize.

Everything looks familiar, cause you know places like that or people like that. But after a life of wandering I can see that it’s different here and exotic.


The words of William Alexander Percy, Willie Morris and William Faulkner echo in our minds as we compile this work.

“..I will indulge a heart beginning to be fretful by repeating to it the stories it knows and loves of my own country and my own people. A pilgrims script - one man’s field-notes of a land not far but quite unknown - valueless except as that a man loved the country he passed through and it’s folk, and except as he willed to tell the truth. How other, alas than telling it!” - Percy

“Southerners of both races share a rootedness that even in moments of anger and pain we have been unable to repudiate or ignore, for the South - all of what it is - is in all of us. As with Quentin Compson speaking in his pent up frenzy to his Canadian roommate at Harvard, we love it and we hate it, and we can not turn our backs on it.” - Morris / Faulkner