images Clay Ketter
Clay Ketter was inspired to create Gulf Coast Slabs by a photograph that appeared in Time magazine shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the southern USA in 2005. Instead of showing the flooded city of New Orleans, this image portrayed another devastated, burning community, and the exposed floor slabs of homes that had been, quite literally, blown away by the storm. The Sweden-based American artist was moved by the human traces left behind on these slabs, and travelled to Gulfport, Mississippi, with photographer Nils Bergendal to record the ruins on film.
The resulting 40 images are haunting, and strangely beautiful. They seem at first as abstract as Mondrian’s grids, with the unreality of architectural plans. A moment later. the viewer appreciates the plans were realised, lived in, and undone by the wrath of nature. The patterns of the floor reveal patterns of use, patterns of life as it was lived before the storm. They form an eerie, sombre and poignant collection.