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© Benjamin Dimmitt

Coastal Roots

Artist: Benjamin Dimmitt

Project: Mangrove Swamps

Description: Mangrove swamps occupy a vital role in the health of a coastline, serving as protected spawning grounds for fish, rookeries for wading birds, and natural water filtration systems. In order to survive, communities of mangrove plants will migrate farther inland when faced with sea level rise, and for estuaries threatened by increasingly powerful storms, the densely woven, interconnected root networks of mangrove swamps act as a series of anchors against devastating erosion.

Inspired by his recollections of mangrove swamps while growing up on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Benjamin Dimmitt decided to revisit the shoreline with his camera, paying close attention to the unsuspected beauty and vitality of these resilient organisms. While the sprawling tunnels and knots of mangrove swamps seemed inhospitable to him as a child, Dimmitt “had become fascinated by the paradox of their forbidding impenetrability, the graceful line of their roots and branches, and their beneficial ecological role.” Captured in the Florida Keys, the Everglades, and the Venezuelan coast, the resulting images in Mangrove Swamps reveal the visually striking world of one of the coast’s essential life forms.

Eyes on the South is curated by Jeff Rich. The weekly series features selections of current work from Southern artists, or artists whose photography concerns the South. To submit your work to the series, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Benjamin Dimmit

Benjamin Dimmitt graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and also studied at the International Center of Photography in NYC, the Santa Fe Photographic Workshop in Santa Fe, the Santa Reparata Graphic Arts Centre in Florence, Italy, and the City and Guild Arts School in London, England. He moved to New York City after college and held an adjunct professor position at the International Center of Photography from 2001-2013. He now lives and works in Asheville, North Carolina, and teaches workshops in the Southeast. Benjamin’s photographs have been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the School of International Center of Photography, NYC, the American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. His work is represented by Clayton Galleries in Tampa, and is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, among others. Benjamin’s photographs will be included in Asheville’s photo+sphere festival this fall and in a three-person climate change exhibit at the Southeast Museum of Photography next year.