Catherine J. Davis

Catherine J. Davis is a fine arts photographer focusing on place and identity. Her projects are predicated on the idea that the landscape is neither natural nor neutral. Rather, these images investigate the central role of people in the landscape. Suffused with the residue of human activity, her photographs consider the implications of our collective presence upon the spaces we inhabit. Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and a Master of Fine Arts from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. She currently lives in Killeen, Texas where she works as an Adjunct Professor at Central Texas College.

SOLD, Galveston, TX, 2016

The Mississippi, New Orleans, LA, 2016

Oranges, St. Bernard Parish, LA, 2016

The Third Coast

Stretching some 1,600 miles from the mouth of the Rio Grande in Texas to the Florida Everglades, the US Gulf Coast is vast and complex. Buffered by warm, shallow seas, the water’s edge is consistently humid and mild with abundant sunshine and ample precipitation. Land here is naturally flat, rising on average a few dozen feet above the ocean’s surface. This innate patchwork is a tangled combination of history and geography, culture and ecology that reflects an intimate and ever-evolving relationship between humans, land, and sea.

My chief project, The Third Coast, explores this distinct vernacular landscape: newly-built houses rising like monoliths above the tides, industrial pipelines subsumed by muddy water, palm trees as stylized icons, and fiberglass sharks marking toothless tourist displays. Thematically, these photographs investigate the liminal spaces along the ocean’s edge, where the highly constructed experience of the shore begins to breakdown. Tonally, they reflect a region caught in the endless process of development and dissolution. More than just describing the topography, however, this body of work explores the Gulf Coast’s visual vocabulary, its sense of place, and the recurrent themes that together create the area’s distinct material and cultural identity.

CLOSED, Nueces County Park, Port Aransas, TX, 2016

Housing, Crystal Beach, TX, 2016

GULF, Texas Energy Museum, Beaumont, TX, 2016

Swamp Room, Jeanerette Museum, Jeanerette, LA, 2016

Étienne de Boré Oak, New Orleans, LA, 2016

Historic Point, Fort San Jacinto, Galveston, TX, 2016

Ramada Inn, South Padre Island, TX, 2016

Motor Inn, Robstown, TX, 2016

The Great American Alligator Museum, New Orleans, LA, 2017

Manatee, Homosassa Springs State Park, FL, 2017

Buffalo Bayou, Houston, TX, 2017

State Pier, Gulf Shores, AL, 2016

Club Destin Resort, Destin, FL, 2016

To view more of Catherine J. Davis’s work please visit her website.