Director’s Award Finalist | Anne Berry | Land of the Yaupon Holly | Framed as the artist intended $950 each, unframed $600 + shipping

A series of 20 10×10 pigment prints in a handmade clamshell box is available for $9,000.

 

The importance of the human connection to nature is the most important theme in my work. This issue is vital to the conservation of animals and wilderness, and it is a crucial factor in man’s spiritual health; without a connection to this spiritual force we are wandering in T. S. Eliot’s Wasteland, clinging to “a heap of broken images.” As people live more and more in urban environments, dependent on material things and technology, they loose touch with what is essential. Land of the Yaupon Holly is about the transitory nature of the physical world and the enchantment and power of the natural world. Along with the Ossabaw Island setting, the sense of myth, ritual, and mystery are what bind these images together.

 

The setting of this story is Ossabaw, a Guale Indian word meaning Land of the Yaupon Holly. It is a wilderness island, inhabited as early as 2,000 BC, but now abandoned and forgotten by man, surrounded by the sea, ruled by the moon. The characters in my story are alone, wayfaring strangers. They haunt the sea’s shore and the dwellings built by man and left to nature: a tabby slave house and an abandoned, decaying Spanish Revival mansion. They worship the ancient live oak tree, with its deep roots and long branches and its resurrection fern; these trees are portals to another realm. They feel the presence of the spirits of Guale Indians, Spanish explorers, slaves, plantation owners, and Northern tycoons. They drink the ritual black tea of the Guale, which they make from the twigs and leaves of the Yaupon Holly. They talk to the owls and buzzards, the alligators and sea turtles, the deer and the feral donkeys. They find artifacts, feathers, shells and bones and revere them for their magical properties. They ask permission. They feel gratitude.

 

Anne Berry is a photographic artist from Atlanta, Georgia.  Anne believes that photography contains the power to evoke empathy and that caring motivates action. Anne photographs primates in monkey houses of small zoos, mostly in Europe. Her project, Behind Glass, has been featured in international publications and is the recipient of numerous awards. It is included in museum permanent collections as well as in private, corporate and public collections.  Anne’s new photographs explore themes and concepts from literature, especially from the works of Flannery O’Connor and T. S. Eliot.  Modern man exists in a material and technical world, separate from nature and cut off from the spiritual energy that surrounds him. Children and animals are closer to this primal, holy spirit. Through Anne’s photographs they communicate, through feelings rather than language, a nostalgic sense of the loss of this connection and a longing to regain it and nurture it before it is too late. –www.anneberrystudio.com

 

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