The Prevailing Winds of Hills and Heritage

Appalachia pulls at me like a haunted memory.

There is an ineffable force that compels me to suspend reality and embrace superstition and myth. It is a longing to hold on to my culture and history in spite of the modern world. The nebulous forests, enveloping moss and dark corners seem to tell a purer truth.

Storytelling in Appalachia has a long-standing tradition, and it infuses the region with mystery. Using lore, pseudo-scientific study, and personal experiences as a compass I see this place through idealized eyes of wonder, and these images become my personal folklore. They bring to life the fantasies and memories I carry with me. This is a place where you can wash away sin in cool stream waters, where corpse birds come to ferry away souls to the next life, rocks burn and kudzu conceals. This is the place where the prevailing winds whisper old stories to those who know how to listen.

Aaron Blum is a proud eighth-generation Scots-Irish Appalachian from the mountains of West Virginia which is the focus of his artistic work. Driven by finding the true meaning of Appalachian identity he creates imagery that is unique, and is something between a dream and a document . After graduating with degrees in photography from West Virginia University and Syracuse University, Aaron immediately began receiving recognition for his work including Center of Santa Fe, Silvereye Center for photography, Critical Mass, and FOAM in Amsterdam. His work has been featured in numerous places such as CNN, BBC and the New Yorker.