My Dakota started out as a photographic exploration of South Dakota, a sparsely populated frontier state on the Great Plains where I grew up. I was trying to capture a more personal and spontaneous West, trying to capture a sense of how intimate this immense landscape feels like to someone who grew up there. A year in to the project, however, everything changed. One of my brothers died unexpectedly of heart failure. For months, one of the few things that eased my unsettled heart was the landscape of South Dakota. It seemed all I could do was drive and photograph. I began to wonder –– Does loss have its own geography?
REBECCA NORRIS WEBB is originally a poet. She has published two photography books that explore the complicated relationship between people and the natural world: The Glass Between Us and Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba (with Alex Webb). Her upcoming third book, My Dakota (Radius Books, 2012), an elegy for her brother who died unexpectedly, interweaves her poetry and her photographs taken in her home state of South Dakota. The work will be exhibited at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, S.D., the North Dakota Museum of Art, and then travel to galleries and museums nationally and internationally. Her work is in the collections of such museums as the MFA, Boston, the George Eastman House, and numerous private collections. Rebecca is currently working on a new collaboration in the U.S. with her husband and creative partner, the Magnum photographer Alex Webb. For the past 12 years, Rebecca and Alex have taught photography and bookmaking workshops together for museums, universities, and other cultural institutions around the world.
Visit the Q&A page for an interview by Sarah Rhodes with Rebecca Norris Webb.
Rebecca’s website (with Alex Webb)
TWO LOOKS blog (with Alex Webb)