MISSISSIPI DELTA - THE LAND WHERE THE BLUES BEGAN

2013


This visual essay was commissioned by Forage Press.

I was inspired by the work of Alan Lomax, who dedicated his life to producing thousands of field recordings capturing traditional songs from around the world. His recordings from around the Mississippi Delta are particularly well known, and he is credited with discovering the voice of Vera Hall among many other big names in the early Blues scene. 
The result of my research is a visual essay which examines the daily lives of the ancestors of the people Lomax was recording in the 1940’s and 50’s. My images are based on archive photographs that document the lives of slaves and labourers from the American South.

German-English Illustrator and Artist based in Brighton, UK

My work explores how illustration can be used as an active tool for understanding, interpreting and re-evaluating dominant narratives and discourse about historical events. How can illustration add to our understanding of history, how can it challenge it, and what is the value of providing alternative viewpoints to the mainstream?

I am interested in exploring and highlighting the ways in which history is recorded, suppressed, remembered and distorted. I have become particularly interested in how meaning and underlying power structures contained within archival records can be interpreted through the act of drawing. Often working with archival artefacts and personal testimony, I create narrative sequences and visual essays that explore my own relationship to history.