The Photographic Journal

Sleepy Time Down South

Essay 293 • May 30th 2018

Inspired by Louis Armstrong’s 1930’s title track, “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South”, this series embraces the romantic qualities that the passage of time can have over memories. Pulling from childhood experiences, it monumentalizes the often quiet existence of a life protected by the mountains. In these silent moments, Spanish moss hangs above a cemetery in Savannah, Georgia, a hive of honey bees overlap one another in an effort to fill wax combs with nectar in the backyard of a cabinet maker’s home in western North Carolina, and the late July sun stains a white church outside of southern Maryland. It is a place of landscapes with suffocating humidity and a nightly orchestra of cicadas and crickets, where ladybugs rest by the windowsill at the crux of June, and the snakes, as well as the people, begin to shed their summer skin.


Isabelle Baldwin was raised in western North Carolina, surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. She is pursuing her BFA in photography, with a minor in sustainability at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. An advocate for animals and the environment, much of Baldwin’s work highlights her appreciation for animals and the natural world. Influenced by her upbringing in the American South, she explores the often complicated relationship between culture and identity.