Ossabaw Island, Ga. – Like an old Hollywood film set, the gates to the Torrey-West mansion on Ossabaw Island are iconic, yet at the same time mysterious and majestic. The gates were originally part of the family’s home that once stood on the same property as Bonaventure cemetery in Savannah, Ga. When the house burned, the gates were moved to their new home on Ossabaw Island. One can only assume that the passing from this world to the next, the entrance is just this dramatic. It is a portal, into what Sandy West called ‘the real world.’
Ossabaw Island, Ga. – Every year, up and down the Southeast Coast the Loggerhead turtle nesting and hatching season is carefully monitored. This batch of 54 baby turtles was collected from a re-located nest, carefully placed into a very practical Home Depot five-gallon bucket and transported back to the surf, escaping the hungry waiting gulls and baking July sun of the south.
Richmond Hill, Ga. – The Meeks Plantation is frequently used for filming Hollywood documentaries and movies such as Glory, the Underground Railroad, etc. These movie ‘props’ serve as an almost too life-like reminder of a time long gone, settled in history, yet indicative of the South.
Cumberland Island, Ga. – Cumberland’s landscape is possibly the most romantic of all the sea islands. Its wind swept, vessel-like maritime forests form tunnels which seem to go on forever.
Drayton Hall, West Ashley, South Carolina – Preserved as is, the main house of this once-working rice plantation is purposely frozen in time. With no electricity or plumbing, the shell of an 11,000 square foot shotgun house lets in just the right amount of inspiring natural light, highlighting the stunning, overwhelmingly beautiful structural details, textures and surfaces.
Bryan County, Ga. – The Fisherman’s Co-Op was one of the busiest centers for bringing in fresh seafood in the Southeast, and largely responsible for founding the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival which is still held every year in Richmond Hill, Ga. As with many things, some things once vibrant are no longer. The same holds true for the Fisherman’s Co-Op. Ownership of the property has changed hands several times of the last decade and is severely abandoned, abused and vandalized, all but falling into itself.
Fort McAllister State Park, Bryan County, Ga. – At one time Fort McAllister was falling into ruin, until one of Richmond Hill’s most famous residents – Henry Ford, purchased the property it was on. Once he discovered its remains, he immediately began restoring it back to its original state, brick by brick as seen on the right side wall. Fascinating light, texture and historical architecture make for intriguing shapes.
Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge – The once endangered Wood Stork and Snowy White Egrets of Southeast Georgia have been well preserved at Big Pond. The Wildlife Refuge provides a fairytale backdrop for the birds as well as alligators.
Ossabaw Island, Ga. – A singular Loggerhead turtle makes his way to the surf, leaving behind only his flipper prints. The thought process was to somehow place emphasis on the size of the turtle in comparison to the daunting task it has ahead — simply to survive.
Ossabaw Island, Ga. – Two of only a few remaining Sicilian donkeys left on the island, Mary Helen (left) and Donkey-Oatie (right) are the true celebrities of Ossabaw Island. They commonly pair themselves off from the rest of the herd which makes them highly identifiable. This image, a portrait, works to capture their peculiar personalities — Mary Helen’s inquisitive nature (an eccentric southerner), and Donkey-Oatie is the innocent bystander.
Georgia’s sea islands. Striking shapes, changing light and retreating tides make for a very interesting appearing/disappearing landscape.
Ossabaw Island, Ga. – Ossabaw’s restored Tabby cabins make for a fascinating geometric play on shape and texture. Inside and out, every aspect of the structures beg to be visually reexamined with every visit to the island.
Sapelo Island, Ga. – A very basic structure with a great deal of purpose, the Sapelo Lighthouse is very unique to the landscape of the sea island. Its bare-bones interior is very striking and graphic, which complements its equally simple exterior and unexpected balance.
St. Catherine’s Island, Ga. – Photographed in late November, taken from Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge overlooking St. Catherine’s Sound, the lingering warm surface temperatures collide dramatically with the cooler air of fall and sea fog, which results in a maritime dreamscape.
Ossabaw Island, Ga. – A reminder of the carefree and imaginative mind of a child, Peter Pan watches over the wading pool where Sandy West and her siblings once played. Heavily shaded and overgrown, over time it has transformed into its own sanctuary.
Deeply connected to her Southern roots, Joy’s images reveal her endless intrigue with Georgia heritage and culture, mainly its sea islands and their dynamically stable surroundings. It serves as an ongoing inspiration for creating photographs that capture and reemphasize the importance of history and preservation of volatile places. Driven by an inherent love and beauty of her birthright, her images convey the natural through technology and back again with traditional mediums, principles and processes. Always exploring. Always experimenting. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, she has participated in several group exhibitions mainly at the Photopoint Gallery (Richmond Hill, GA), Location Gallery and the Telfair for the Arts (Savannah, GA). She is also Design Director at JOY Marketing.
Instagram: @joydunigan / @photopointgallery
Facebook: @Joy.Dunigan / @DeepSouthPhotopoint