|All photos © Kathleen Robbins|
Raised in the Mississippi Delta, photographer Kathleen Robbins has photographed rural life in the region in two bodies of work. Starting in 2003, when she began teaching at the University of South Carolina, she made repeated trips to to Belle Chase, her family’s farm, to explore familial obligations and her relationship with “home” in a project she calls “Into the Flatland.” Robbins says, “This is land that my family has inhabited for generations, and I am pulled to this place in a way that I am not able to fully articulate.”
Her new, ongoing series, “In Cotton,” looks at the lives of rural cotton farmers in the Yazoo Mississippi Delta. During the 2011 growing season, Robbins and writer Mary Carol Miller spent five weeks with ten farm families. Her work on the series continues.
Robbins, who is represented by Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta, has had her work exhibited at The Light Factory, Rayko Gallery, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and other venues. She is coordinator of the photography program at the University of South Carolina. This week, she was named first place winner of the 2011 PhotoNOLA Review Prize, selected by reviewers at the PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review in December 2011.
Top and above: Images from “Into the Flatland”
Blackbirds, from “Into the Flatland”
An interior image, part of Robbins’ ongoing series “In Cotton”
Burning Field, from “In Cotton”
Whittington Foyer, “In Cotton”