One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


On the Batture
by Eleanor Owen Kerr

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Project statement:

On the Batture is an exploration of the no-man's land between the Mississippi River and its levees. In Louisiana, the land between the river and its levees is known by its French name, "batture" – literally, the land that is "beaten on" by the river. The batture is ephemeral. It ebbs, flows, and reforms, controlled only by the whims of the river. Sometimes under water, sometimes choked by vines and dense undergrowth, the batture is a raw, transitional space where the landscape fluctuates in accordance with the river's pulse. This project began with a walk over the Mississippi River levee. Although I grew up on the river, the levee blocks most contact with this mythic artery. Stepping over the crown of the levee, I entered a different world. I was immediately engulfed by the powerful mystery and primal energy in this ribbon of wild land separated from towns, cars, and highways by the mere sixty foot ribbon of levee between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. I am compelled to return again and again, always finding different expressions of the same mystery. Governed only by the push and pull of flood and drought, nature holds sway on the batture while urban life goes on just a few hundred feet away.


Bio and contact:

Eleanor Owen Kerr is a black and white landscape photographer working in her native Louisiana environs. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the U.S. State Department (Malaysian embassy) and the LSU Museum of Art as well as many corporate and private collections; she has received awards from groups such as the International Photography Awards (LUCIE), Black and White Spider Awards, and Women in Photography International. Kerr's work has been published in recent editions of SHOTS Journal of Photography, The Photo Review, Photographer's Forum and Silvershotz International Journal of Fine Art Photography. Kerr is represented by fine art galleries in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Kerr studied at Maine Photographic Workshops and apprenticed with renowned photographer Paul Caponigro, Kerr's photographs incorporate a level of contemplative stillness which belies the simultaneous sense of drama inherent her vision of nature. She uses film-based, large format cameras and meticulously crafts silver gelatin prints in a traditional wet darkroom.


Eleanor Owen Kerr is a Baton Rouge, LA, based photographer.
To view more of her work, please visit her website:
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