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In Caught In Time, Jessica Cantlin examines the derelict beauty of Cumberland Island, emptied of its colonial opulence and replaced with an intimacy only known to forgotten properties still thoughtfully cared for. Cantlin’s diptychs express an insurmountable divide between the island’s halcyon days of affluence under the Carnegie family in the 1800s and its current state— a gloried wilderness of history and artifacts otherwise lost to time.
Situated on the Georgia/Florida border, Cumberland Island remains in the care of both the National Park Service and various stewards, the latter of which tend to the two remaining estates that once held lavish parties and family gatherings. Cantlin’s photographs present harmonious, melancholic pairings, documenting a storied past through weathered portraits, morning light creaking through quiet bedrooms, architecture that hides immense secrets within lime washed walls.
“These images represent a storied history (while limited) of the Carnegie’s occupation of Cumberland Island. Not much is left from the original homesteads, but what survives is preserved at Plum Orchard, one of the estates that is now a museum. Many of these images come from Stafford Mansion, the Carnegie home that remains within the family trust. If the halls of Stafford could talk, they would reveal layers of family history. This series of photographs aims to capture relics of time past, a place that few beyond the family have visited, a home that will eventually be emptied of its contents and its long history sealed for good. “ — Jessica Cantlin
Jessica Cantlin is a fine art photographer and writer. After leaving her career as a successful attorney, Jessica searched for ways to “feed her wanderlust”. By creating the popular blog of the same name, she was able to document her travels and share her experiences, with the hopes of inspiring others to appreciate the beauty surrounding them.