Photographic Alphabet: B is for Anne Berry

Photographic Alphabet: B is for Anne Berry

Beacon, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Beacon, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Land of the Yaupon Holly

The importance of the human connection to nature is the most important theme in my work. This issue is vital to the conservation of animals and wilderness, and it is a crucial factor in man’s spiritual health; without a connection to this spiritual force we are wandering into T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland, clinging to “a heap of broken images.” As people live more and more in urban environments, dependent on material things and technology, they loose touch with what is essential. Land of the Yaupon Holly is about the transitory nature of the physical world and the enchantment and power of the natural world. Along with the wilderness island Island setting, the sense of myth, ritual, and mystery are what bind these images together.

Burnt Offering, Ossabaw Island, 2019 © Anne Berry

Burnt Offering, Ossabaw Island, 2019 © Anne Berry

Coyotes, Ossabaw Island, 2016 © Anne Berry

Coyotes, Ossabaw Island, 2016 © Anne Berry

Donkeys at the Welcome Tree, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Donkeys at the Welcome Tree, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Fortitude, Ossabaw Island, 2016 © Anne Berry

Fortitude, Ossabaw Island, 2016 © Anne Berry

Looking Glass, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Looking Glass, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

This story is set on three wilderness barrier islands off the Georgia coast. The title comes from Ossabaw, a Guale Indian word meaning Land of the Yaupon Holly. It, like Cumberland and Sapelo, is a wilderness island, inhabited as early as 2,000 BC, but now abandoned and forgotten by man, surrounded by the sea, ruled by the moon. The characters in my story are alone, wayfaring strangers. They haunt the sea’s shore and the dwellings built by man and left to nature: a tabby slave house, an abandoned, decaying Spanish Revival mansion, mansions on Cumberland built by Thomas and Lucy Carnagie, some in ruins. They worship the ancient live oak tree, with its deep roots and long branches and its resurrection fern; these trees are portals to another realm. They feel the presence of the spirits of the Guale Indians, Spanish explorers, slaves, plantation owners, and Northern tycoons. They drink the ritual black tea of the Guale, which they make from the twigs ad leaves of the Yaupon Holly. They talk to the owls and buzzards, the alligators and sea turtles, the deer and feral donkeys. They find artifacts, feathers, shells, and bones and revere them for their magical properties. They ask permission, they feel gratitude.

Land of the Yaupon Holly

Offering, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Offering, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Palm Wings, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Palm Wings, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Recognition, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Recognition, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Sentry, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Sentry, Ossabaw Island, 2017 © Anne Berry

Siren, Ossabaw Island, 2016 © Anne Berry

Siren, Ossabaw Island, 2016 © Anne Berry

Skull of a Horse, Cumberland Island, 2018 © Anne Berry

Skull of a Horse, Cumberland Island, 2018 © Anne Berry

Talisman, Cumberland Island, 2018 © Anne Berry

Talisman, Cumberland Island, 2018 © Anne Berry

To see more of Anne’s work, visit her website here

Art Out: Yale MFA Photography 2019 Thesis Show: "Transcript"

Art Out: Yale MFA Photography 2019 Thesis Show: "Transcript"

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