Vanishing Points, archival pigment prints, 2011-ongoing
The landscape of South Central Ohio and neighboring states of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana was the spiritual and social epicenter of the Native world nearly 2,000 years ago. The entire area was deemed sacred by ancient indigenous cultures and continues to be an important place for many modern American Indian tribes. I spent the first 25 years of my life in this area. It is my geographical and metaphysical "home". However, I grew up without any teaching, or knowledge of the lands previous inhabitants, and never considered the spiritual power of the place.
In 2007 I moved back to the Ohio River Valley region after spending nine years in the Northwest. Shortly after moving, there were protests taking place on a busy street corner less than a mile from our house. The protesters were objecting to the new Suncrest Towne Center development, which was being built on a sacred burial ground and village site of the Monongahela tribe. I felt compelled to document the site and the resulting photograph inspired a project that would forever change the way I viewed the landscape of my home.
Combining extensive research of historical archives, maps and contemporary satellite imagery, as well as direct collaboration with archaeologists, historians and scholars I have been able to locate and photograph numerous sites of Native American history in the regional area. The sites I choose to visit and photograph are literal and metaphorical vanishing points. They are places in the landscape where two lines, or cultures, converge. They are also actual archaeological sites where the sparse evidence of a culture's once vibrant existence has all but disappeared. While visiting these sites, I reflect on the monuments our modern culture will leave behind and what the archaeological evidence of our modern civilization reveals about our time on Earth.
The Vanishing Points project was recently selected as a Finalist in Photolucida's Critical Mass competition and featured on: Medium's Vantage, NPR's West Virginia Morning, Looking at Appalachia, Humble Arts Foundation, Fototazo, Mossless, Light Leaked, Eyes on the South, Ain't Bad Magazine, Don't Take Pictures and Prism Magazine.
This project is presented with financial assistance from the Colonel Eugene E. Myers Foundation, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.