And I remember the days when, sitting on the porch of our house in Maryland, I would watch my parents dancing to swirling Blues coming from our record player. I was only four and the Blues were already becoming a part of me.—Bea Chauvin
All along my many trips to Mississippi and to the Delta, I have constantly followed an unbroken thread, leading me to the Blues and its vibrations. From my very first moments on this deep land, I have had the feeling of a parallel vision, stirring my heart with deep emotions. The stories hanging on trees, nested in landscapes, floating on rivers, printed on bare walls or expressed in Blues voices, would give birth to the sensation of a shifting time. Mile after mile, layer after layer, Mississippi opened different faces to me, unwrapping its secrets, embedded in lights and shadows. In this
work, one sole word binds two photographs, creating at each time an intimate travel belonging to that unbroken thread.
UNBROKEN is an installation bringing together twenty-four pairs of photographs, embroidered linen fabric (the Fabric of the Blues), Blues lyrics, Pat Thomas’ art, and beautiful Blues music.
I am a French photographer and I live in Paris. When I was a toddler, my father was sent on a mission on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. So, during 4 years, we all lived on the military base. Much later, I realized how strongly these days had molded me. Yes certainly, the bright light of the Chesapeake Bay, the rhythm-and-blues songs my parents would dance to, the taste of peanut butter, maple syrup and pancakes, the beautiful music of the American language, the eerie-though-friendly jungle that had been my playground with its ravine and entangled lianas – all these elements combined to let grow what I call “my American roots”.
The nostalgia of these multi-colored emotions drew me back to the United States many times, from my twenties, up to now. There, on the land of my childhood, I have always the feeling to be back home, even if France “est mon pays”. During one of my trips, I fell in love with Memphis and the Mississippi Delta and made these places my new source of inspiration. Thanks to my family of Southern friends, I come back every year, work for the B.B. King Summer Camp kids, give guest talks, have exhibitions, create new projects about the Blues, and so on. UNBROKEN spread out of my mind, a few days after I came back home, last October.