Kathleen Robbins: Into the Flatland
November 29, 2012 – January 27, 2013
Opening: Saturday, Dec. 1, 6-9pm
New Orleans Photo Alliance
1111 St. Mary St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Sat+Sun 12-4pm and by appt.
Into the Flatland
In the fall of 2001, I relocated from New Mexico to the Mississippi Delta to live on my family’s farm, Belle Chase. I ate from my great-grandmother’s china, drank form her crystal and slept in her bed. At dusk I rocked on the porch and watched the blackbirds descend on the canebrake planted by my great-grandfather. Living on the farm I existed in a strange continuum. My family’s history and their connection to this place were markedly present in my everyday experience.
I left the family farm in 2003 to take a teaching position at the University of South Carolina. Into the Flatland explores familial obligation and our conflicted relationship with “home.” The photographs in this series were made during regular trips home to visit family over a period of several years. I chose to leave the Mississippi Delta for many of the same reasons anyone ever chooses to leave a rural area. This is land that my family has inhabited for generations, and I am pulled to this place in a way that I am not able to fully articulate. It is not my nostalgia alone that creates this longing; it is that of my mother and my mother’s mother. – Kathleen Robbins