I was nine months pregnant and due in less than a week when Hurricane Katrina blew into the Gulf. In the early hours of August 28, 2005 my husband and I loaded up our small truck with two cats, two dogs, two crates full of negatives, all our important papers and a few changes of clothes. We evacuated to a motel in southern Alabama and tried not to watch the news. Monday, August 29 brought the convergence of two major life-changing events; the destruction of New Orleans and the birth of our first son. It was two long months and 6000 miles on the road before we were able to return home.
Hurricane Story is a depiction of our family's evacuation experience—the birth, the travels and the return. These photographs represent various elements of our ordeal. The project began as a cathartic way to process some of the lingering anger and anxiety over that bittersweet journey. It grew into a narrative series of self-portraits in toys that illustrate my experiences and emotional state during our time in exile.
Bio and contact:
Jennifer Shaw is a photographer based in New Orleans, LA. Her work is exhibited internationally and held in collections including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Jennifer's photographs have been featured in B&W, Shots, Light Leaks, and Oxford American magazines, and are included in two recent books: Plastic Cameras: Toying With Creativity and Before During After. Chin Music Press published her first monograph, Hurricane Story, in 2011.
Jennifer grew up in Milwaukee, earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and then moved to New Orleans in pursuit of the artist's life. She teaches darkroom photography at the Louise S. McGehee School and directs the annual PhotoNOLA festival, in addition to chasing after two young sons.
Jennifer is a New Orleans, LA, based photographer.
To view more of her work, please visit her website: jennifershaw.net
To learn more about Hurricane Story, please visit the project website: hurricanestory.com
You can buy a copy of Hurricane Story published by Chin Music Press at the publisher's website.
You can also contact Jennifer Shaw by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org