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Home, Sanctuary

David Alan Harvey reflects on the serendipity of life in North Carolina

David Alan Harvey

David Alan Harvey Biking on the beach at Shelly Island...a new mile long island that formed off the tip of Cape Hatteras during the spring of 2017. It was gone by September. Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA. 2017. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos

Talking about a life spent living in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, David Alan Harvey describes it as a “circle of sorts.” Since childhood, the Magnum photographer has become a fixture in the local area which is now naturally ingrained in his mind as a symbolic and formative place. “No matter where I am,” he says, “I’m always bringing up in my hard drive my sense of home.”

In his series for Magnum Home, the photographer chose to turn his lens toward his family in their local surroundings. Connecting the philosophical to the human, his portraits of a child suggest the cyclical nature of familial generations; shoreline photographs of the slowly eroding sands of Nags Head are reminders of the attritions of time. “There’s no permanence to this place,” he says. Moved to document it over the next 20 years, Harvey offers a serendipitous take on the landscape he was brought up in.

Magnum Home, an international project conceived by Fujifilm, gave sixteen Magnum photographers an open brief which asked them to define their concept of ‘home’ through their own singular approaches. Touring seven cities, a large group exhibition showcases their varying responses to the brief. In the lead up to the exhibition opening in Busan, South Korea, David Alan Harvey shares what ‘home’ means to him.

David Alan Harvey Lyla, aged 3.5, and a live oak tree. Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA. 2017. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos
David Alan Harvey A patch of light and inspiration for a silhouette. Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA. 2017. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos

"As a young boy with a camera, all I had to photograph was my home, my family and a few blocks radius around our house."

- David Alan Harvey
David Alan Harvey After watching the solar eclipse (90% totality) atop Jockey's Ridge State Park. Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA. 2017. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos

“As a young boy with a camera, all I had to photograph was my home, my family and a few blocks radius around our house. I was simply an aspiring photographer with a dream. Later indeed, dreams in fact came true, and now I am able to travel and absorb the world around me. Yet, even while I might be sitting at a sidewalk café in Paris, in the back of my mind I am thinking of my front porch in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.”

"I will remain curious about what lies across the bridge from this island. "

- David Alan Harvey
David Alan Harvey Early Gray the cat perched atop an old pickup truck surveying the scene. Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA. 2017. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos
David Alan Harvey A skim boarder waits for his next wave as the full moon rises over the atlantic. Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA. 2017. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos

“My front porch now is only a few miles from my front porch where as a 14-year-old I fell in love with photography. So for this home project, I literally stayed at home. Never drifting very far from my front porch nor far from family. So it’s a circle of sorts. I slid back into child-like sentimentality. No artifice. I will remain curious about what lies across the bridge from this island. Yet, peace is hard to leave behind.”

See more photographers stories from the Home project here.

David Alan Harvey Sea Oats on a late summer day on Pea Island. Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA. 2017. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos
David Alan Harvey A moonlit bike ride on path alongside the Chesapeake Bay. Cape Charles, Virginia, USA. 2017. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos
David Alan Harvey Some waves rolling in on the north side of the Nags Head Pier. Nags Head, North Carolina, USA. 2017. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos