Saturday, June 13, 2015

KEN ABBOTT : USEFUL WORK . Photographs of the Hickory Nut Gap Farm

some books/some books/some books



There is no one definitive South, each state and each region within a state has details that give meaning to its citizens ,these details bring feeling which we  call place.Even the idea of what is place changes depending on the emotional relationship shared .

In 2012 I was working on a project about the Appalachians , I want to show  more than a single perceived version .I turned to classic images of the miners lives by  Builder Levy to speak of the hardship in the mountains and hollows but Sarah Hoskins and Ken Abbott provided clearly different views.

People from outside usually concentrate on the extremes of this beautiful area but Ken took on a small portion, a working and teaching far ,which he has documented over 10 years.There is no shock of hardship,just a gentle reminder of the land being used and giving back.This book reminds us of a place we would all love to come home to. 


A review of the soon to be publish book by Alex Harris and link to a fund raiser and website

Ken Abbott’s photography and Hickory Nut Gap Farm is a marriage made in heaven, or about as close as we get to heaven here in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina. For almost a hundred years, one extended family has lived on and created a uniquely beautiful farm and community in this place. In Useful Work, Ken Abbott so thoroughly and beautifully depicts the surface and soul of this home and farm, that he reminds us how the best photographers can focus on something seemingly small, yet evoke our common humanity. This book represents an extraordinary achievement in life and in art.  
– Alex Harris, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University 

Ken Abbott


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