March 9 - April 7, 2019
Opening reception: Saturday, March 9, 6-9 pm
Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 12-5 pm, except for Second Saturdays when hours are 6-9 pm.
Where You Come From is Gone explores the importance of place, the passage of time, and the political dimensions of remembrance through the historical wet-plate collodion photographic process.
Created on the eve of Alabama’s bicentennial, Jared Ragland and Cary Norton’s large-scale images seek to make known a history that has largely been eliminated and make visible the erasure that occurred in the American South between Hernando DeSoto’s first exploration of native peoples in the 16th century and Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act 300 years later.
Using a 100-year-old field camera and a custom portable darkroom, the two photographers journeyed more than 1,500 miles across 20 Alabama counties to locate, visit, and photograph indigenous sites. Yet the melancholy landscapes hold no obvious vestiges of the Native American cultures that once inhabited the sites; what one would hope to document, hope to preserve, hope to remember, is already gone.
Instead, Ragland and Norton seek to render the often invisible layers of culture and civilization, creation and erasure, and the man-made and natural character of the landscape.
Jared Ragland is a fine art and documentary photographer and former White House photo editor. He is a 2017-2018 Alabama State Council on the Arts Media/Photography Fellow and currently teaches and coordinates public programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the photo editor of National Geographic Books’ “The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office,” and in 2015 was named one of TIME Magazine’s “Instagram Photographers to Follow in All 50 States.” In 2017 he received third place at the 2017 PhotoNOLA Review Prize and has recently exhibited at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Front, and the Baton Rouge Arts Council's Firehouse Gallery. Ragland is a 2003 graduate of Tulane University with an MFA in photography.
Cary Norton is a fine art and editorial photographer, camera builder, and beekeeper. In 2009 he received worldwide recognition for building a 4x5” field camera from LEGO blocks. Norton has worked on long-term assignments in London and Baghdad and worked with NGOs in India, Kenya, and Uganda. In addition to client work for Ford Motor Co., Regions Bank, Verizon and Whole Foods Market, his photographs have been published by Smithsonian Magazine, Southern Living, and The New York Times.