Jack Deese

Jack Deese (b. 1986) is an artist based in Douglasville, GA. He received his BFA from the University of Georgia (2011) and his MFA from Georgia State University (2016). Born, raised, and educated in Georgia, his artistic focus eschews wanderlust and he often creates most of his work close to home. His approach uses the visual language of documentary, but the resulting photographs owe more to cinema than journalism. He has taught at Georgia State University and Auburn University, and has had work featured in Oxford American’s Eye’s on the South, YIELD Magazine, Splash & Grab Magazine, Humble Arts Foundation, and in numerous group and solo exhibitions.

How to Orient Yourself in the Wilderness

“How to Orient Yourself in the Wilderness” is a series of photos made as a poetic take on a survival guide. The title preceded the images, and was partially influenced by conversations and questions about mortality with my four year old daughter. The photos explore feelings of a life lived in a place that is simultaneously foreign and familiar to me, the American South. The images confront subjects that are typically depicted in the southern vernacular, but with less interest in illustrating and more interest in distilling them. The wilderness represents a time of transition, adolescence, and growth, the exciting and intimidating uncertainty that is life. The guide is meant to be useful to all levels of engagement, particularly rewarding those that take their time with a deep enriching experience.

“How to Orient Yourself in the Wilderness” is a practical, readable-and potentially indispensable-manual for anyone venturing into the American South.
This enlightening guide reveals how to catch food without a gun, what plants to eat, how to build a warm shelter, protect yourself, and signal for help. Detailed photographs offer crucial information at a glance, making “How to Orient Yourself in the Wilderness” truly a lifesaver.

To view more of Jack’s work, please visit his website.