Tammy Mercure

Tammy Mercure  

I have been living in and photographing the American South for over ten years and have focused on portraits of people and how they relate to their landscape. 

In 2007, I moved to East Tennessee. I began documenting the tourist area around the Great Smoky Mountains. It is the most visited national park with even more people visiting the surrounding towns. Following the economic crisis, it was a time when many older attractions began closing and new ideas were tried for survival. The old symbols of the hillbilly and Dolly Parton and bears were still there while the replica of the Titanic crashed into the parkway. 

After a couple years, I expanded to the rites and rituals of the surrounding areas. In the quiet of the rolling hills, I sought out the loud. I photographed burnout contests, civil war reenactments, county fairs, the Redneck Olympics, small town July 4th parades, and more. 

In 2014, I moved to New Orleans. I am continuing my work on rites and rituals, gravitating to the small town festivals that celebrate industry like the Rayne Frog Festival and the Morgan City Shrimp and Petroleum Festival and the ceremonies of the city. 

This year, having moved to the town of Violet, about 15 minutes from the lower 9th ward in da parish, I am expanding to the landscape outside the flood wall and the changing landscape from coastal erosion and sinking land. 

Having grown up in Iowa, I have a great connection with the cars and trucks I have driven over the years. A car meant freedom and showed some of my personality outwardly. Over the years, I have continually photographed people in their cars. For this work, I concentrated on Sundays on the lakefront where car enthusiasts gather and the organized car shows in various parking lots around the city.