A photo from Upon Sand, “Old Lighthouse Beach,” was selected for CAM Raleigh’s summer 2019 exhibition. CAM Raleigh is a contemporary art museum located in Raleigh, NC’s warehouse district specializing in the work of living artists. Designed by Brooks + Scarpa with Clearscapes, the museum’s current space opened in 2011, revitalizing a historic produce warehouse. I’m a longtime fan of CAM Raleigh so it was an honor to have one of my large-scale photos displayed in the museum.
“Old Lighthouse Beach” is a panoramic image created from multiple long exposure photos. It depicts one of the steel structures built on the beach near Buxton, NC in the late 1960’s to protect the Cape Hatteras lighthouse from the encroaching sea water. The erosion control structures, called groins, are reinforced walls extending perpendicular from the beach into the ocean. Their purpose is to stop currents from traveling long the beach, trapping sand in the process and holding it in place.
A rare sight in North Carolina, the structures are seldom permitted because they have been found to increase erosion elsewhere down the beach. To learn more about seashore hardening see North Carolina Coastal Federation. Despite the structures, the lighthouse was still threatened by erosion and overwash, requiring the brick structure to be moved 2,900 feet from the shore in 1999. The groins remain as a corroding monument to one of the many battles fought between the built environment and the encroaching ocean.
It was a wonderful experience working with CAM Raleigh to bring to project to fruition. Thanks to Eric Gaard, Krista Nance, Gab Smith and everyone at CAM Raleigh for making the process both smooth and rewarding. And thanks to Ryan Pound for his excellent work creating the print.