When I moved to North Carolina, someone told me that the New River is the oldest river in the world. I have always been drawn to the water of a place, whether it is a lake, ocean, or river, and I was immediately intrigued. It turns out that the New is not, in fact, the oldest river in the world, but numbers among the oldest rivers along with the French Broad also in North Carolina, the Finke River in Australia, the Yangtze in China, and the Meuse River in France. In any event, just the notion that the river was so ancient, older even than the Appalachian Mountains, was enough to get me started on this project. I began to think about personal histories, my idea of home, and how a river affects ecology and the communities through which it flows. I also started to think about Pangea, and where North Carolina used to fit against Africa, creation stories and the Garden of Eden, and how religion is a large part of this region and my past. I love the fact that the same water that starts in a seep high up on Snake Mountain in Meat Camp, North Carolina, not far from my home, flows north to confluence with the Kanawha River outside Charleston, WV, and later joins the Ohio River that flowed past my hometown in Indiana. I would sit on those banks for hours, just watching the water slip past, and now it is like I have traveled back in time, away from my home but closer to my origin.

New River Tintypes

New River Series