A WORLD ELSEWHERE: Imagining the Southern Landscape - Suzanna Mars


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WHITEHALL OAK, BEAUFORT

Beaufort is one of my favorite Southern cities, and for a small city there is much to explore. On one visit I stopped by a local gallery, where I saw a picture of a partial trunk of a live oak. After asking where it was and receiving a vague answer ("over the bridge"), I found myself on a parcel of land that was full of giant live oaks, each with its own story to tell. This one in particular called to me; it seemed its branches were arms and that the Spanish moss draping across them was a natural fringed shawl. I imagined that the tree had dressed up for a long-ago ball and that its dance card was full. I certainly spent some time dancing around it, photographing it from all angles while trying to capture this Southern emblem in a nearly anthropomorphic way.