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Walter's Island, Carey's Tree by Ryan Steed
Walter's Island, Carey's Tree
Digital Chromogenic Print, Edition 5/10
19" x 26"
This piece is currently on view in Drawn By the Light: Memphis College of Art Horn Island Veterans Reflect. The work will be available for pick up after April 30, 2021 when the exhibition ends, and you will receive communications to schedule an appointment for pick up.
WAMA is not responsible for shipping. If purchaser needs the piece shipped coordination between the purchaser and a shipping company will be required.
Click here for more information about the Drawn by the Light: Memphis College of Art Horn Island Veterans Reflect.
About the Artist:
The grandson of a cotton farmer and son of a literature teacher, Ryan Steed completed an MFA in Photography at Memphis College of Art and currently lives and works in Memphis. Ryan's most recent solo exhibition was held at the Cotton Museum in Memphis, and his work was featured in Photography in Memphis at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in 2019. He has exhibited work in Little Rock, Portland, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, and his work has been published by Oxford American. He is a founding member of Due South Co-op, a collective of Southern photographers currently exhibiting work at the Meadows Museum of Art in Shreveport, Louisiana.
As you travel south and Horn Island comes into the horizon breaking up the waters of the Mississippi Sound, there is no room for denial in your view. Your eyes fall on a cathedral of nature. One simply has to step onto the shore, and there you are, welcome to Walter’s church.
You visit Horn Island in an act of searching, and from that search, you gain appreciation, knowledge, and a new sense of self. The island will not stand for less, and you have Walter Anderson to thank for that. The sugar sands, the rising dunes, the pines, the lagoons, the ocean; these descriptions, like my image, are a mere likeness for what that island is. My attempt to show its beauty is just that, an attempt.
To understand how amazing that island is, you have to stand on it. You have to stand with the winds off the waves on the south side, the saw palmettos behind you to the north, you have to watch the squadrons of pelicans form their lines and swoop and roll in their patrol, you have to see a single tree with its mound on high where a sentry stands, there the osprey sits in its overwatch. You have to go there; you have to spend time with Walter. In doing so, that island gives you all that you give it.
My photograph is of a tree that stands like much of the island, without repetition, and I photographed it because of what Walter once wrote: “Everything seems conditional on the island.” That tree stands in a deal with its surroundings, that the island only allows what it needs, and what it wants. The title is a nod to James Carey, a friend and fellow photographer. He loves that tree — it’s his, it’s mine, its everyone’s who seeks the island. But the island, that will always be Walter’s.