'Levee' by Adrianna Ault to be published by VOID

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'Levee' by Adrianna Ault to be published by VOID
Adrianna Ault. Levee.

LONDON.- “Amongst the unstoppable changing world, the chaos, the growth, the loss, the laughter, and tears there came to a point where I couldn't breathe. I felt as though I was drowning. I went out to the levee on the Mississippi River by my mother's house and walked with my camera.”

Photographer Adrianna Ault was raised in New Orleans where a 350 mile levee system controls and holds back flood waters. This project began as Ault attempted to better understand the landscape surrounding the city, but evolved over the course of 5-years to encompass her changing family, journeys they took and the processing of grief. The levee became a metaphor for the barriers built in an attempt to ward off inevitable decline, and the onslaught of time and nature.

"I discovered how the surrounding city's waterways exposed the land to a constant state of vulnerability. The physical landscape is parallel to an emotional landscape rooted within the culture of New Orleans and its people."

Ault began photographing the project in 2017 and the final images in this new book were made in 2022. Alongside photographs of the landscape of New Orleans and the Hudson Valley, she photographed her children, and her mother’s final car journey from Rhinebeck, NY to her mother’s home in New Orleans, LA. The act of making photographs allowed Ault to see and process the world in a different way, with a quietness and slowness—and in this she found sanctuary.

“Making pictures in this place was not outside of the pain of losing my mother or the joy and wild ride of being one, rather it was beyond it. It is a quiet place to rest and feel the heart-sinking loss and what is found along the way.”

"You find ways to stay busy. Flicking stones, throwing scraps of jerky to the dogs from the porch. Church dinners, oil changes, doctor’s visits. You stay aloft as long as you can. Devices to hold things in place when it does come – plywood cut to fit the windows, gaskets to seal the bottoms of the doors, jugs of clear water stashed in the attic. Not that it matters much. You plan all-out for one disaster and you miss another disaster entirely. You plan for the hurricane and it’s black mold that takes your house.” Text from Levee by George Weld

Adrianna Ault (b.1972) is an American photographer raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Adrianna studied photography from a very early age. She lived and worked in New York City for seventeen years and has spent her life working in the realm of photography, whether commercial or artistically driven. In 2017, she collaborated with Tim Carpenter, Raymond Meeks, and Brad Zellar on Township, a photobook centered around the auction of her family farm in central Ohio. Ault holds an MFA from Hartford International Limited-Residency Photography School. She works in her studio in the Hudson Valley of New York. In addition to making work for publication, she has taught at colleges and workshops.

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