Hell's Bells/Sulfur/Honey by Sophie T. Lvoff

Issue 45

It is widely understood that New Orleans is a city of mystery, faith, and magic. However, the quotidian underlies the mystique. I’m interested in what happens when the colorful, heavy, and humid atmosphere collides with the mystic landscape -- the landscape being loaded with history while at the same time being turned over and rebuilt everyday. When looking at my series of photographs, different eras are displayed in any given scene in between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. The quotidian of New Orleans is unthinkable in another city because elements line up and light up in some cosmic and timeless manner. I drive upon the roads of the city, looking for locations where I feel something ethereal and tangible -- "classic" cars, hand painted signs, graveyards and bars on the same block, tropical vegetation and churches-- are all part of this glimmer of the mundane. My eye is mediated through a means of analog recording and framing, drawing me to a variety of available light sources-- late afternoon sunlight, street lamps and neon, overcast and diffused sunlight, stained-glass windows, garage door lights, and window display lamps. The noise is sucked out of the picture and what is left is an observation on the aura of New Orleans.

The title of this project comes from elements in a Louisiana Voodoo "cure-all" spell that can solve all one's problems. The elements are to be mixed together, put in a glass, rubbed on a black cat and then slowly sipped. Hell's Bells are poisonous (aka Datura or Jimson weed) and are commonly found in New Orleans.

Sophie T Lvoff lives and works in New Orleans, LA.
To view more of Sophie's work, please visit her website.

  Toledano Street 

Toledano Street 

  Washington Avenue (Leonard's Truck) 

Washington Avenue (Leonard's Truck) 

  North Claiborne Avenue (The Red Door) 

North Claiborne Avenue (The Red Door) 

  North Broad Street (Shattered Window) 

North Broad Street (Shattered Window) 

  Washington Street 

Washington Street 

  Poland Avenue 

Poland Avenue 

  Delachaise Street 

Delachaise Street 

  Louisiana Avenue 

Louisiana Avenue 

  Prytania Street 

Prytania Street 

  North Broad Street (Phillies) 

North Broad Street (Phillies) 

  Washington Avenue 

Washington Avenue 

  South Carrollton Avenue 

South Carrollton Avenue 

  North Claiborne Avenue (We Got It Grocery) 

North Claiborne Avenue (We Got It Grocery) 

  Tchoupitoulas Street 

Tchoupitoulas Street 

  Conti Street 

Conti Street 

  North Broad Street (740 Lounge) 

North Broad Street (740 Lounge) 

  First Street (Irma) 

First Street (Irma) 

  Tulane Avenue 

Tulane Avenue 

  Lesseps Street 

Lesseps Street 

  First Street (Back Lot) 

First Street (Back Lot)