The Mountain Stands Still
This series explores the life of a man named Robert and his deep attachment to the landscape. It investigates how the passage of time and connection to place can profoundly shape our values and identity. Consisting of both portraits and landscapes, this body of work uses a sense of place to provoke conversation about the people and their relationship with the southern landscape. Evolving from past projects and an ongoing interest in how we attach ourselves to the land we call home, I became fascinated with Robert after meeting him in a small rural town in the Appalachian region of South Carolina and began photographing his daily life and eccentric personality. From there, I became increasingly interested in his personal relationship with the landscape he called home, a place he felt at one with and could never imagine leaving, and his push and pull relationship between placing himself in isolation provoked by loss, to being the most social man on a quest to bring the town together.
In an effort to satisfy personal curiosities and individualistic questions about our own journey through life, there exists a desire to see the world from a different perspective and to become immersed in unfamiliar environments with a strong motivation to learn its cultural history; While photographing this series, I explored concepts of connection to landscape, community, friendship, isolation, love, loss, sadness, intimate spaces, faith, happiness, social phenomenon connected to group dynamics, rural life, fantasy, Appalachian culture, moonshine making, and became a witness to the idea of – If you build it, the town will come.
_ Elle Olivia Anderson