On encountering the fascinating, evocative black and white photographs within Kristine Potter’s Dark Waters book, one can imagine them gracing an album cover: think Nick Cave, PJ Harvey or Johnny Cash’s American Recordings albums, with all their associated southern gothic murder ballad folklore.
Fiction and reality collide as Potter – a Nashville-based photographer, and assistant professor of the discipline at Middle Tennessee University – depicts bleak winding roads, dense woodland and desolate riverbanks with names like Murder Creek and Deadman’s Pond. There are also studio shots of women, each telling a story regarding vulnerability or hidden darkness. These landscape photos successfully capture an ominous feeling of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or a location that one can imagine might be scarred by previously unsound happenings.
Dispersed between Potter’s photos are lyrics from murder ballads such as Delia’s Gone or Knoxville Girl, and the inclusion of a short story by Rebecca Bengal furthers Potter’s precise, haunting imagery. Dark Waters is an intriguing, thought-provoking monograph, as beautiful as it is unsettling.
Dark Waters, Kristine Potter (Aperture)
Price: £50. Info: here
words DAVID NOBAKHT