As the Ross Lynn Foundation’s 2020 Artist-in-Residence, Konrath sensitively documented the lives of farmers and chefs across North Louisiana.
Text by Chris Jay, images by Terry Konrath
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All the way back in October of 2021, I began e-mailing with fine art photographer Terry Konrath. She had recently completed work on a portfolio of photographic prints featuring “farmers who are utilizing, and chefs who are sourcing from, sustainable farming methods in the Northern Louisiana region.” Konrath, who is a graduate of Bossier High (’83), lives in California, where she received her master’s from California Institute of the Arts. She made the images of local farmers and chefs while serving as the 2020 Artist-in-Residence of the Ross Lynn Charitable Foundation.
Utilizing funds contributed by Stuffed & Busted‘s Patreon patrons, I was able to compensate Konrath for her work in order to publish some photos from her residency. In January, she sent me scores of images to look through. Her stark, black-and-white images are representative of the “slow photography” movement. Her individual approach is “based in the commitment to use film and build relationships with the people whom sit for her portraits,” according to her bio.
Konrath’s “slow photography” is an ideal medium for capturing the spirit of the “slow food” movement. All of her images for the project were shot without flash on black-and-white film. Each print was hand-processed by the photographer. During our back-and-forth e-mails, Konrath seemed self-conscious about the “old school” nature of her photo-making process, and how different the results can be from what modern audiences expect.
“All of the images … have a more vintage feel to them when compared to a modern digital photo,” she said.
For me, the images are more compelling because they utilize an old-school, time-intense approach to photography to portray old-school, time-intense approaches to farming and cooking. In the cases of both slow photography and slow food, expedience is sacrificed for the sake of quality—a photographer shooting digital photos can create eight or more images per second, while Konrath and other “slow photography” practitioners may spend days refining a single exposure.
Konrath’s images don’t look like publicity stills. The chefs’ arms aren’t crossed. Chefs and growers alike often appear to have been interrupted in the course of a normal day’s labor. Konrath, with support from the Ross Lynn Charitable Foundation, has created an invaluable portrait of a moment in North Louisiana’s local farms and restaurants. Hopefully, these images will eventually make their way into important local archives like those held by LSU-S and, with any luck, they’ll also grace the walls of a North Louisiana museum or gallery soon.
What you see here is only a small sampling of images that Konrath created during her residency in North Louisiana. She indicated that she has future plans to share more of these images, hopefully including an in-person exhibition of prints. All photos included in this post are the sole property of Terry Konrath and are reproduced here by special arrangement. The artist may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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