A Look Back … and Forward

On this, the last day of 2013, I am pausing to reflect on my Shared Earth project, what has been accomplished and what the future may hold.  Over this past year two handmade books were created … one of the mounds timeline and one of Poverty Point.  And the prints had their first outing on the walls of the Livaudais Gallery in Monroe.


It was incredible for me to see those images going around the room … from Watson Brake, built over 5000 years ago, to Poverty Point to Boothe Landing to McGuffee and on and on to Pargoud Landing, built AD 1100-1500.  Standing inside the timeline, surrounded by photographs of the sacred ground of the moundbuilders, reinforced my understanding of how connected we are.  There is no doubt that the ground I stand on was handed off to me, to us, and that we will soon hand it off to someone else.

Some of the prints from this exhibition were purchased and are now hanging in people’s homes.  The handmade books are scattered across the country.  I hope they continue to teach this lesson of our ancient past and help us all better understand our sharing of this land and our contributions to its future.

I have met so many wonderful people along the way – landowners, archaeologists, enthusiasts.  I have held artifacts in my hands, felt their textures and tried to imagine their makers.  I’ve spent countless hours walking the sites, standing on top of mounds, researching them and trying to understand their stories.  And I have studied the photographs I have taken, trying to find the ones that best portray the character and life of the sites they represent.

This project is continuing and as I write this today, I am working on text and photographs for a book project that should be published in 2015.  Two prints will hang in a group show in Banff in February.  And a museum exhibit of this work is planned for October 2014.  All of this is way more than I dared to dream when I first began back on a warm summer day in 2011.  I continue to be entranced by these sacred places and am so grateful to all of you for taking this journey with me.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Md E_12.30.13_8830

Mound E, Poverty Point, December 30, 2013

About Jenny Ellerbe

I am a photographer living, and working, in northeastern Louisiana.
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8 Responses to A Look Back … and Forward

  1. Charlotte says:

    It’s been an honor for us to be allowed to follow along your journey. We so appreciate your sharing with words and photos and your heart. And the trail continues!

  2. Kathryn Benson says:

    You have done a very important work — one that will inform history. Thank you!

  3. Thanks to both of you for joining in!

  4. Cindy blanchard says:

    As always Jenny, your work and your deeply integrated thoughts reflect your beautiful spirit.

    I look forward to seeing your future works and regret that I missed your exhibit at Joli’s. I had my precious grandson, Payton visiting for two weeks and wanted to spend every second I could soaking up all that love.

    All my best,


    • Cindy, thanks so much. And I certainly understand your wanting to spend time with Payton. I really appreciate your taking the time to follow the project and to share in it. Happy New Year!

  5. Bill says:

    Those of us who are your fans are cheered every time you have a new post here. It allows us to follow along with your work and to see where your research is leading.
    Congrats on the recent Livaudais Gallery show, and also on your upcoming exhibitions and publications.
    Now for 2014: Please grab your camera and get back out there in mound country. We know you freeze half to death in winter and burn up in summer, but, yikes, what can we say? We’re your fans and we’re hungry to hear your reports.
    Thank you for this website and for all your work.

    • Bill, I was just out freezing half to death at Poverty Point on Monday! Thanks for the encouragement and for commenting here. I appreciate your support in all the different facets of this project.

  6. Fascinating project and beautiful prints.

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