"The world is dark, and light is precious.
Come closer, dear viewer. You must trust me. I am telling you a story."
- Kate Di Camillo, The Tale of Despereaux
Dr. Brenda Scott is an art photographer based in Durham, NC.
She has been making photographs since elementary school. Also trained as a cellist and an organologist (one who specializes in the history and development of musical instruments), she worked as a curator of a small musical instrument museum for just over 10 years before becoming a freelance photographer, curator, fine art printer, and photography instructor.
Her "Stagville: Black & White" exhibit was shown at the NC Museum of History, a Smithsonian affiliate, for 11 months. Afterward, the exhibit was exhibited at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville, NC, through December of 2015. In January 2016 it became part of the permanent holdings of the Southern Historical Collections at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Her exhibit on the Vance Birthplace, entitled "The Mountains are Calling" was displayed last autumn in Asheville at the the Western Office and the West Asheville Library. In 2018 it was in the North Carolina State Capitol Building from January through early April.
Currently, she is working on her mixed media painting skills for portraiture and an exhibit called, "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean"; a photographic exploration of connections between the Piedmont region of North Carolina and Scotland, using as its starting point the legendary Flora MacDonald. Scott is the recipient of an Alice Horsman Scholarship from Somerville College, Oxford, to assist with this project. Scott earned her doctorate at the University of Oxford (Somerville College) and holds degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, Auburn University, and the Academy of Art University.
Full c.v. available upon request.
I am a photographer, because I cannot imagine spending my life doing anything else.
Photography has always been a part of my life. My parents introduced the art to me, even taking me to meet Ansel Adams when I was a child. However, until recently, it did not strike me that photography could be my profession.
Now I want to work as a photographer until I can no longer work at anything. Originally I studied music, and my greatest cello teacher taught me that there are at least five ways to play every musical phrase. His words echo in my mind as I work with my camera, guiding me to look at scenes in many ways.
I have always felt a strong spirit of place; the land tells the stories of those who preceded us and of those who share our time. This is why I explore places, looking for a visual “whisper history.”
Visual exploration is my adventure. I get lost in visual experience and feel as if I am a part of something much larger than myself – as if stories merely flow through me. This is the magical moment when I am both created and creator.