Born and raised on the Gulf Coast of Florida, I explore the entwined narratives of my family’s dynamic and its history alongside my conflicted relationship with Southern culture.
Approaching these ideas from a first-person perspective illuminates the fundamental connection—and mutual dependence—between my life and work. Against the backdrop of Southern Gothic clichés, I research, observe, and foster relationships, notably my connection to my chronically ill mother and “prodigal” brother who suffers from schizophrenia.
It is from this position that I approach the sometimes painful path to self-discovery. As an extension of this process, the distillation of the past and confrontation with the present are contextualized by the broader dialogue of tolerance within contemporary America’s sociopolitical landscape.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like one of these previous features: Julie Blackmon’s disconcerting series, Homegrown, presents seemingly idyllic scenes of Americana that are tinged with unease; Love We Leave Behind, a reflection on lust, women, and the aging American landscape; and Till the Cows Come Home, portraits from American county fairs.