Past Presence

Featuring large scale photography by Robert Epps and poetry by William Baldwin. This exhibition will be held from July 20th until August 18th.

Past Presence combines the vibrant large scale photography of Robert Epps with the city themed poetry of William Baldwin to create an exhibition of iconic environs of Charleston. Discovering the contemporary in the old, the sublime in the ordinary, the poetic in the everyday; working at times in tandem, the artists have spent the last four years exploring the way in which Southern Culture, for better or worse, manages to endure and endure. An ever decaying beauty and a quiet / noisy resilience found here in both images and words.

About the Artists

Robert Epps, Detail of Read Bros.

Robert Epps, Detail of Read Bros.

Robert Epps

Robert Epps is a photographer and architect. He began his collegiate studies as a fine arts major at the University of South Carolina. He received a Masters of Architecture degree from Clemson University in 1977. While pursuing his Masters, he studied photography under nationally prominent photography educator Sam Wang. This study concluded with a solo exhibit at the Clemson University Student Union Gallery with a selection of black-and-white silver prints. In more recent years he has exhibited as part of the Piccolo Spoleto celebration and other Charleston venues. He uses a 4×5 Linhof view camera. All his images are captured on traditional film. While producing 32” x 40” large color prints requires more involved technical processes, his smaller 16” x 20” black-and-white silver prints are produced by traditional enlarger process in his office/studio at 1 Pinckney Street in Charleston.

William P. Baldwin

A lifelong resident of the Carolina Lowcountry, William P. Baldwin is an award-winning novelist, biographer, and historian. He graduated from Clemson with a BA in History and an MA in English. He ran a shrimp boat for nine years, then built houses, but the principle occupation of his life has been writing.  His works include Plantations of the Low CountryLow Country Plantations Today (both with architectural photographer N. Jane Iseley); and the oral histories Mrs. Whaley and her Charleston Garden and Heaven is a Beautiful Place. The screen play for the latter earned him a Silver Remy at this year’s Houston Film Festival. For its depiction of Southern race relations, his novel The Hard to Catch Mercy won the Lillian Smith Award for fiction. Most recently he collaborated with photographer V. Elizabeth Turk on Mantelpieces of the Old South and supplied the text for chef Charlotte Jenkin’s Gullah Cuisine: By Land and by Sea.