the katrina chronicles

Mississippi is very much the bastard stepchild of the fifty states; this became all the more clear to me in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Few people outside of Mississippi know that the power of Katrina did not strike New Orleans directly; it was coastal Mississippi that took the brunt of the storm winds. In fact, the original headlines immediately after Katrina in the Atlanta Journal read "New Orleans spared, Coastal Mississippi devastated". Shortly thereafter, New Orleans flooded, the news media latched onto the racial implications of wealth disparity and government ineptitude in Louisiana, and Mississippi was once again an afterthought.

Why do I know this? Not because I am scholar of the storm, or a meteorologist. I know this, because on July 30, 2006 I sold my home in Houston. My family moved to Gulfport, Mississippi so I could chair the painting area at a small college that overlooked the Gulf of Mexico. Less than one month later, I lost most of my possessions, including my art and my slides, in Hurricane Katrina. The most depressing visual feature of the Mississippi coast, after the immense destruction, was the endless amount of debris. Everything was leveled and spread across the coastal landscape: nails, drywall, toilets, tires, forks, needles… everything that was once in a house or a garage was now scattered all over the ground. Over the past six years, I have struggled to come to terms with a way to tell my experience, which is a single story amongst thousands of stories in the aftermath of Katrina.

Ultimately, it made sense to me to tell the Katrina Chronicles in a form that embraces the stepchild nature of Mississippi and the leveling power of Katrina. The Chronicles are told in a visual form that hovers somewhere between a graphic novel, a journal entry, a painting, a memoir and a flippant conversation. It is pieced together on the most delicate and fragile of surfaces, paper. The work is both visually spare yet dense with narrative. Sharpie and sumi-e, acrylic and encaustic, Mylar and rice paper, and text and image are fused without hierarchy; I hope to make images that openly engage the imperfection of memory, the possibility of change and the restorative power of storytelling.

PETER PRECOURT

GALLERIES

 

the katrina chronicles | artist statement

Katrina Chronicles: Cover, Acrylic, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I: Prologue, pp 1-4, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I: Prologue, pp 1-4, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I: Prologue, pp 1-4, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I: Prologue, pp 1-4, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pg 5, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 6-13, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 14-15, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I , pp: 14-15, Acrylic, Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2010

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I: pp 16-18, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I: pp 16-18, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume I: pp 16-18, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 19-29, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12

Katrina Chronicles: Volume II: pp 30-42, Acrylic,Sumi-e Ink, Copic Marker, 2011-12