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The photographic triptych Gate, Path, Baptism delves deeper into the past that placed me in my native environment and connects it with my present condition. Conscious of the distant link to ancestral lands in England, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, I wanted to investigate the tenuous connections I have to those lands. Using brown dye to match the freckles I inherited, I inscribed a large selection of my ancestors‘ names and places of birth on my skin. Here my body is presented as a manifestation of the past and a link to older distant landscapes. I then traveled to locations in New York to photograph my body in locations that played a key role in my progenitors entry to this land: Clinton Castle the immigration entry point before Ellis Island, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Village, known as Germantown in the 1860’s.


Shawn Bitters photographs
Gate, Path, Baptism
C-Print
36 x 28 inches each, 36 x 86 together
2006