I was fortunate to attend the College of Charleston as an undergraduate. If you’ve ever been to Charleston, SC you know why I say fortunate. I ate fresh seafood all the time. I went to beach in my bathing suit in November on more than one occasion. I lived in old shotgun houses loving all their quirks. It’s a beautiful city full of culture and history, and any chance I get to back I take eagerly.
Charleston and the Lowcountry have a special hold on me, and I think it’s safe to say for Eliot Dudik as well. Eliot is also a CofC alumni, and went to SCAD to pursue his love for photography, graduating with a MFA in 2010. His series, Road Ends in Water, is a documentation of the changing landscape of Highway 17 that runs along the SC coast. The road continues to widen to accommodate tourists and commerce, displacing families, homes and even culture.
Eliot says of this series, “This collection of images and thoughts is a tribute to, and an acknowledgment of, the respect the modest souls of this region, obscure from the mainstream, deserve for their tenacity, good humor, social commitment, and acceptance of the ebb and flow of the often incomprehensible vagaries of existence.”
While my love for Charleston initially sparked my interest in Eliot and his work, my appreciation for his photographs has gone beyond that. Other than being strikingly beautiful, they capture a spirit of a place and a people often overlooked while vacationing along the SC coast (or attending college for that matter). This book highlights the landscape, the people, and abandoned churches that line Highway 17. The text throughout is helpful to give context, and I appreciate that it comes in the form of poetry and call-and-response rather than a straight essay. Eliot self-published the book, and below are a few images… I can’t give them all away. You have to come see the book for yourself!
Condemned, Ashepoo River
Anthony, North Edisto River