One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


by Allison Barnes

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Project statement:

"A walk is just one more layer, a mark, laid upon thousands of other layers of human and geographic history on the surface of the land." Richard Long

As I walk, I consider both the traces I leave and the more permanent imprint I make within my camera. Aboriginal Australians used toas, typically made of wood and gypsum, as signposts to mark the direction of departure from a campsite so that others could follow. Here, I present images that document marks as a collection of clues, suggesting that place is itself temporally layered, a palimpsest of the multiple traces left by individuals and groups. These markers are sometimes literally embedded within the landscape, such as raccoon tracks in the earth and the evidence of human passage, or commemorate a natural event, including a boars passing and the death of an animal.

The photographs function as an autobiogeography autobiography and geography converge and each image indicates a location of personal experience while the 8x10 contact prints offer an intertextual investigation of the landscape. The traces, whether literal or transient, offer a visible history of a past presence yet carry a tension between the ephemeral and permanent. The landscape I walk remains after my departure and a new trace is formed when the index of that landscape is transferred onto paper. A print is the material and permanent manifestation that provides access to a mark now erased but remaining persistently present.


Bio and contact:

Allison Barnes is a Savannah based large format photographer whose current work reveals the landscape as a repository of historical memory, of traces of a past and their complex connections to other places and peoples. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and is currently working towards her MFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the United States and internationally, including, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers and Personal Portraits (curated by the National Portrait Gallery). Her photographs have been featured in publications such as Shots Magazine and Foto Visura, and she is a contributing photographer to The Cultural Landscape Foundation.


Allison Barnes is a Savannah, GA, based photographer.
To view more of her work, please visit her website:
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