Patrick Owens was born in Gastonia, NC in 1982 and raised in Taylors, SC. He received his Associate of Arts degree with an emphasis in Photography from Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC in the spring of 2005. In 2008, after working for a commercial photography studio for two-and-a-half years, Patrick was invited to return to the Visual Arts Department of Greenville Technical College as the Studio Manager where he continues to work. Patrick began taking studio art classes again in the fall of 2012, and he is currently working towards his BFA at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. Some of his photographs have been included in the Looking at Appalachia project and are in the collection of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University in Durham, NC. Patrick’s family is from Tuskegee, AL, and he has fond memories of visiting his grandparents and other relatives there as a child. He has been photographing in Alabama since 2009.
Greetings from Tuskegee
My family is from Alabama, spread across the state, with Tuskegee being my epicenter. My grandparents had a dairy farm in Tuskegee, and I have fond memories of visiting them as a child. I would always fall asleep on the four and a half hour trip to my grandparents’ house, but I knew as soon as we turned onto their driveway. To this day, I think of that driveway every time I’m on a gravel road. I remember one trip after my grandparents passed, driving across Alabama so my dad could photograph family tombstones. We added in a little sightseeing along the way, stopping by places such as my great grandmother’s house in Ruth, the first house my parents owned in Prattville, and the Little Texas Tabernacle where my dad attended church revivals as a child. I have always been intrigued by the passage of time, and I often revisit locations I photographed previously. In some instances, this passage depicts a continual decay, in other instances very little change is evident, and occasionally there is even evidence of rejuvenation. The physical places that I choose to photograph represent a time before the loss of my grandparents and a desire to feel more connected to the land and community my family called home.
To view more of Patrick’s work please visit his website.