In 2005, Rebecca Norris Webb set out to photograph her home state of South Dakota, a sparsely populated frontier state on the Great Plains with more buffalo, pronghorn, mule deer and prairie dogs than people. It’s a land of powwows and rodeos, a corn palace and buffalo roundups. Dominated by space and silence, South Dakota’s harsh and beautiful landscape is sometimes prey to brutal wind and extreme weather. The next year, however, everything changed for Norris Webb, when one of her brothers died unexpectedly of heart failure. “For months,” she writes in the afterword to this volume, “one of the few things that eased my unsettled heart was the landscape of South Dakota…I began to wonder — does loss have its own geography?” My Dakota — which interweaves her spare text and lyrical photographs — is a small intimate book about the West and its weathers, and an elegy for a lost brother.
About the Artist
For the past decade, Rebecca Norris Webb has been exploring the complicated relationship between people and the natural world. Originally a poet, she has shown her photographic work internationally, including at the George Eastman House Museum and Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York. Her first book, The Glass Between Us, was published in 2006, and her second book, Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba (with Alex Webb), was published in 2009. Her photographs are in the collections of the George Eastman House Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. An exhibition of the Violet Isle work (with Alex Webb) was shown at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from May 2011 to January 2012. My Dakota is Rebecca’s third book, which will be exhibited at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, South Dakota, Summer and Fall 2012, and then travel to the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks.