Emerging Photography Contender: Ansley West Rivers

For Seven Rivers, Georgia-based photographer Ansley West Rivers traces the metamorphosis and damage done to rivers throughout the United States, honoring their rich histories and pointing to their uncertain futures. 

Hanford Reach, Columbia River, Washington 2015 Hanford Reach, Columbia River, Washington 2015

Hanford Reach, Columbia River, Washington 2015 Hanford Reach, Columbia River, Washington 2015

Writes Rivers in her Artist Statement, “This series of photographs captures the watersheds of seven rivers—the Colorado, Missouri/Mississippi, Columbia, Rio Grande, Tuolumne, Altamaha, and the Hudson—and considers the fragile state of fresh water across the United States. The project began during a life changing twenty-five day float through the Grand Canyon. My trip ended at Lake Mead where the canyon ends and the river is dammed. The comfort of the walls and the rocking of the flowing river had become the soothing feeling of home. The sudden end of the river into the stagnant waters of the lake broke my heart in multiple ways.”

Grand Diversion Dam, Colorado River, Colorado 2014

Grand Diversion Dam, Colorado River, Colorado 2014

“My belief in a wild, free flowing river was shattered. The photographs are not aimed at documentation but rather the depiction of unseen changes occurring on all rivers. We stand at a precipice in the history of water. The series depicts images that are simultaneously beautiful and haunting in an attempt to challenge the viewer’s perspectives on the landscapes that sustain us.”

All images © Ansley West Rivers

Each week, Feature Shoot editors showcase the work of one photographer who has applied to the Emerging Photography Awards in order to highlight the diverse array of applications we receive. This is not an endorsement of the photographer for the award.

Apply to the Feature Shoot 2015 Emerging Photography Awards here. It pays to apply early, as we will be featuring some of our favorite submissions right here and over our social media channels.