On the historic grounds of Drayton Hall, where time’s whispers linger as one, “One Foot in Eden” is a photographic essay guided by art director Caroline Knopf for the agency Camera Works Inc.
By: Caroline Knopf
The drama and haunting beauty of Drayton Hall have always held an otherworldly charm. This coincides with a history of seven generations and the enslaved people who were also part of the plantation. The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust has interpretative exhibitions and an active archeological site and is dedicated to speaking the truths of the plantation with the stories of the owners and the enslaved.
“One Foot in Eden” imagines the past as a place of freedom and innocence where all races share a beautiful life and explore myths and mythologies of the South. Storylines and symbolism of the raven, the lore of the family’s missing silver, and the last glimpse of youth and innocence being held onto before entering the reality of the world.
The clothing sourced includes handmade and hand-dyed pieces from Madam Magar with wild-grown indigo plants at McLeod Plantation. Her work was originally inspired by Eliza Lucas Pinckney. Other clothing was sourced from HAvens and includes organic cotton and a distressed, homespun timeless quality.
I proposed the piece to South Magazine and was very interested in featuring such an original story that showcased the South and its deep undercurrents of history and turmoil that exist in hand with the contradictory Moonlight and Magnolia vision. There is some good copy in South Magazine‘s article here.
Caroline Knopf was born in the South and the South’s rich storytelling tradition permeates her work. Upon arriving in New York, her work soon caught the eye of a market looking for an inventive and narrative vision. This led to many long-lasting relationships shooting for Neiman Marcus, Conde Nast, Missoni, Natori, and more. Her broad technical knowledge is well-matched by her eye for detail and love of fashion. As Caroline says, “The ideas behind an image originate with a piece of clothing, a painting, some glimpse that captures my imagination and the pictures unfold in my mind like pages of a book.” Caroline’s work and ideas take her far and wide, always in search of a new, enchanting story.