Hannah Taylor
MFA Candidate


Photography






Artist Statement

Blue-Collar Backroads is centered around my experience of growing up in rural Appalachia. I was raised in a blue-collar family, in a home nestled in a town of only 500 residents. Our nearest grocery store was 30 miles away and the hospital was even further. My family lived in what appeared to be an average home, but in reality, we were deeply impacted by poverty. These conditions created a strange dichotomy between our outward appearance and reality which left me deeply curious about both the socioeconomic and environmental climate of rural Appalachia.

Backroads create a rich network that connects rural communities together. I grew up on backroads. My parents grew up on backroads. My grandparents grew up on backroads. When I was a kid, my mother and I would ritualistically drive them when we needed to decompress or find a small adventure. Somehow, they were simultaneously utilitarian and therapeutic. I carried this ritual into adulthood, and I am now incorporating it into my process of making photographs which explore the questions that my childhood shaped.

This body of work is a documentation of the various states of growth and decay within rural Appalachian communities, the economic crisis many blue-collar families are facing, and how a lack of environmental regulation within some of these communities is impacting the land.