One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


The Other Charleston
by Lauren Henkin

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Project statement:

The first question people usually ask about this project is, "Why Charleston?" The second question they ask is, "That's South Carolina, right?"

I used to live just outside of Washington, D.C., in a Maryland suburb. It was surprising to me that most people didn't recognize the capital of the state just to the west. In fact, they'd usually never heard of Charleston, West Virginia. I hadn't either, I confess, until 1994, when I first passed through. I remember driving on Interstate 64one of the elevated highways running through the cityon my way from Maryland to St. Louis, where I was studying architecture. I saw rooftops, abandoned warehouses, and an enormous industrial complex. Truthfully, I didn't want to stop.

For eight years, I drove through Charleston on I-64, sometimes staying overnight. I saw the city in fall, with color exploding from its limbs. I saw it slowly emerge from a fog-enveloped night. Gradually, it seeped into my awareness as a place of immense depth and beauty. I had misjudged it, and wanted to share what I could finally see, a unique place where buildings seem to be the primary inhabitants, humbly waiting for attention.


Bio and contact:

Born in Washington, D.C., photographer Lauren Henkin grew up in Maryland, graduated with a BA in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and now resides in Portland, Oregon.

She states, "The questions I am most concerned with when photographing are: What are the things that last? What, if anything is permanent? How are the things that we value or leave behind reflections of who we are?. A big part of what I do is provide a formal medium for valuing and studying informal subjectsto pay homage to things we see everyday; toys we leave on the floor, dresses hanging in a closet, or trees growing beside dumpsters. I tend to work from the inside out, using photography as a way to get to know myself better. The satisfaction comes from seeing one body progress to another, a visual diary of my life, my worries, my fears, and hopes."


Lauren Henkin is a Portland, OR, based photographer.
To view more of her work, please visit her website:
Purchase her handmade publications:
Keep up with Lauren on her blog:
Listen to her interviews with gallerists, curators, educators, artists, and others at Photo Radio:
You can also contact her by e-mail: