Debbie Fleming Caffery
Church Steeple and Cornfield, 2011
Gelatin silver print
14 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Cash and Dice, 2004
Gelatin silver print
16 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Cypress Tree, 2014
Gelatin silver print
21 x 16 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Dead Cornfield, 2011
Gelatin silver print
13 3/4 x 20 7/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Gangster, 2011
Gelatin silver print
21 x 13 7/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Burning Cane #6, 2006
Gelatin silver print
17 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Best Juke Box, 2013
Gelatin silver print
16 x 21 1/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Leo, 2011
Gelatin silver print
14 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Ventriloquist, 2013
Gelatin silver print
15 3/4 x 20 7/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
AWOL, 2013
Gelatin silver print
15 7/8 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Bullethole, 2013
Gelatin silver print
21 x 15 7/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Junior, 2014
Gelatin silver print
14 7/8 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Enterprise Mill, Sunrise, 2009
Gelatin silver print
21 x 16 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Red Fish, 2013
Gelatin silver print
15 7/8 x 20 3/4 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Gerald's Truck, 1999
Gelatin silver print
16 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Trusted, 2012
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 7/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
The Tree of Knowledge, 2014
Gelatin silver print
21 x 15 1/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Sarah, 2008
Gelatin silver print
21 x 15 7/8 inches

Edition of 5

 

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Hanging Out, 2013
Gelatin silver print
16 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Christmas Tree, 2013
Gelatin silver print
15 7/8 x 20 7/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
China Hands, 2013
Gelatin silver print
15 7/8 x 20 7/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Abandoned High School, 2014
Gelatin silver print
15 7/8 x 21 1/8 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Mary, 2013
Gelatin silver print
15 1/8 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Jim, 2012
Gelatin silver print
16 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
Circle of Fire, 1999
Gelatin silver print
16 x 21 inches

Edition of 5

Debbie Fleming Caffery
St. John Sugar Mill Steam Flowing #3, 2009
Gelatin silver print
21 x 16 inches

Edition of 10

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Debbie Fleming Caffery

Octavia Art Gallery | New Orleans

April 11 – May 23, 2015

Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present our first solo exhibition with Louisiana-based artist Debbie Fleming Caffery. Southern Work will bring together two distinct series that have been pivotal subjects for Caffery throughout her career, along with a recent project inspired by her grandchildren.

 

Growing up in Louisiana, Caffery was exposed to the distinct and strongly rooted Cajun and African-American communities of the region, absorbing these cultures into her heart and imagination. It is through this lens that the artist was drawn to documenting the seasonal sugar cane harvest. Caffery has been exploring this subject matter since the 1970s and for this exhibition she has printed never-before-seen images from that time period along with images from more recent shoots. While the process of sugar cane harvesting is intense, dangerous and industrial, Caffery achieves a balance of strength and tenderness, darkness and light through her expert employment of shadow, contrast and mysterious composition. The results are a “visual articulation of an emotional and sensual response to stories heard and the smells and sounds in the environment.”[1]

 

Connected to her sugar cane harvest series, Caffery has also been exploring small rural communities throughout north Louisiana and Mississippi since 1987. Returning to the same areas throughout many years, she has forged strong relationships with her subjects and an understanding of place. It is because of her repeat visits that Caffery has been able to illustrate and capture the changing economic and socio-political landscape of these towns. Many of these communities have lost industry in their area and have fallen victim to the impacts of modernization, leaving people jobless and rendering once thriving communities abandoned. Caffery has a way of capturing that sadness, loss and austerity that feels transcendent and profound.

 

The third body of work included in the exhibition is a project Caffery has been working on of personal objects and spaces that will be turned into a children’s book. The images have an expository nature and strong sense of narrative.

 

Caffery has been featured in many solo exhibitions at institutions and galleries such as the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; and the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego. Her work has also been included in many group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Caffery is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005, a Katrina Media Fellowship, Open Society Institute, George Soros Foundation in 2006, and the first Lou Stoumen Mid Career Grant from the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego in 1996. Her work is included in several prominent collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, to name a few.

 

[1] “An Interview with Debbie Fleming Caffery”, Photo-Eye, n.p., n.d., web.