The photographs featured in this exhibition are a part of a collaborative series entitled “New Broom” produced by Christian Cody, Tyler McClelland, Tia Wine, and myself. The series encapsulates the heritage of the Gullah culture rooted in Charleston, South Carolina where our close friend Tia and her family are natives and currently reside.
This culture is embedded in Tia’s family and has impacted her creativity as an artist. As a fashion designer and student at SCAD during her senior year, she produced a senior collection that primarily focused on discovering her identity and rediscovering her family’s history. She used fabrics and other raw materials used among African-Americans like her family who are a part of the culture to represent their livelihood.
We travelled to Charleston in the spring of 2017 and spent a weekend documenting Tia’s family in their home and family church. I captured photographic footage of her wearing pieces from her collection while Tyler captured footage through video. Christian organized an editorial with models we brought with us to Charleston, and later photographed them on the McLeod plantation where Tia’s ancestors were once enslaved. This became a narrative that unfolded right before our eyes. The photographs depict Tia embodying the innocence and delicacy of self as she discovers her identity through clothing and her family’s history.