V a n n  Thomas  P o w e l l  

    On Contentious Ground
    Looking for Lowery

    Points of Entry
    Rebirth of Tragedy
    Retracing Sherman

Vann is a Fine Art
Photographer and
Experimental Filmmaker

+1 919 638 9146
Based in Durham, NC


© Vann Thomas Powell 2023

Retracing Sherman (2021)

I survey and retrace the paths, roads, and sites that General Tecumseh Sherman traveled during the fateful Georgia summer of 1864 on his way to bring the Confederacy to its knees. I follow General Sherman's path from sites of reckoning, now in some areas paved over, to landscapes imbued with memories some Americans try to forget, while others desperately hold on to and protect.

In these photographs I am grappling with the memory of the Civil War, how it has shaped and continues to shape American identity - and very much my own as I find myself drawn to and constantly returning to photograph these sites. I feel the mystery that surrounds these spaces, the latent energy held in the acreage.

I’m continually aware of the visual metaphors of lines, paths, and roads that suggest throughlines of history. These traces are further contrasted  and complicated by the more material paths and roads traveled by Sherman alongside sites of reckoning where unspeakable acts of carnage occurred. This juxtaposition helps to visualize the involute relationship between the landscapes and memory, giving the viewer a moment to reflect upon the interpellating effect of the American Civil War.  The continual change in landscape compiles memory into further layers of landscapes. This shifting temporal change suggested in the scenes of this land nod at a memory of conflict while often appearing to us as banal workaday landscapes dotted across the Georgia country.