Courtney Garvin, "In These Clasped Hands"

Courtney Garvin is a photographer born in South Carolina who uses the photographic medium to focus on her own life and the life of her family and the issues that the Black community still face in this age. We let Garvin speak about her work.

"The project originally started as a series of portraits of my family members in South Carolina. However, after the Mother Emanuel Church shooting, the burning of several Black churches throughout the south, the continuous killings of unarmed Black women, men, and children, and being chased down a secluded dirt road by men on ATV’s, the focus of the project changed. In These Clasped Hands looks at generational experiences, race, and community in a multifaceted Black life.

My process for the project involved visiting and revisiting places with my family. I usually drive and walk around to get ideas for locations to shoot but after the Mother Emanuel shooting and rising tensions in the area I was very nervous about going out and walking around alone. A few of the images I saw in my head based off of known locations and places I knew to be safe, for example, the Bre and Josh photo I pictured in my head. I knew how I wanted them to look and what chairs I wanted them to sit in. I thought I knew where I wanted the chairs to be set up but once I got there, I realised there was a better location by the trees. For other portraits, I knew who I wanted to shoot and had a general idea of where I wanted it to be but trial and error played its part.

In a way the project was a way for me to memorialise my family, friends, participants, and places, while spending time with them and getting to know them better."

To see more of Courtney's work, visit her website here.