Vaughn Sills | photographer

Places for the Spirit

Cover of Vaughn Sill's Places for the Spirit

Places for the Spirit is a collection of over eighty fine art photographs of African American gardens and many of their creators in the deep South. Vaughn Sills's photographs show an important element of the American cultural landscape that has a unique historical significance.

As described in Lowry Pei's introduction, many the gardens include design elements and spiritual meanings have been traced to the yards and gardens of American slaves and further back to their African heritage. Like the roots of blues and other folk manifestations, these gardens have a unique aesthetic and cultural significance.

“Looking at these black and white images sometimes feels like dropping paper flowers in a glass of water and watching them expand. Vaughn Sills's images make the mind expand like a rose, fragrant with vision… [Her] humility in the face of the order she finds in these various gardens is touching — and enlightening.”

Hilton Als, staff writer for the New Yorker and contributor to the New York Review of Books

Images from the book