“I first saw Baton Rouge-based Eleanor Owen Kerr’s photographs in a workshop in Maine last summer. I was mesmerized, not only by the foreign landscape that she had captured, but by the deeply moving way she had captured it. These were intimate, meditative, soulful photographs of a mysterious and magical place known as the Mississippi River batture, a word derived from the French “to beat” to describe the alluvial land “beaten” by the river, as it shrinks and grows, sandwiched between the levee and the river. The intimacy in these photographs is the result of years of attention to the exploration of the nuances of this environment. . . it allows her to create photographs that she describes as blurring “the line between what is there and what else is there.” That “what else” is indefinable, but it is primal, ephemeral, and transcendent.”
Lenscratch: Fine Art Photography Daily, January 7, 2019, By: Amanda Dahlgren
ARTisSpectrum, Volume 21, May 2009
Eleanor Kerr’s photographs cover a wide range of subjects, but share as a consistent theme the interplay of nature both at its most vulnerable and its most resolute. With these intimate organic relationships revealed, Eleanor’s work revels in the textures of stones large and small, and in sky wherever it is found, either hinted at behind clouds, lying reflected within a tranquil pool or merely suggested by a curl of flora. Eleanor has said that she is inspired to draw back the curtain on the mysteries of the natural world in her work. In doing so, she opens our eyes to show us how much we have yet to discover. Whether it is within the intimate patterns found in rock and water, or the wider realm of a hillock, Eleanor’s photography frames moments of transition for us, and it is in these instances of conversion that we recognize our own parallel yearning for growth. Her work reconnects us to nature and generously insists that we have a special place in its inscrutable design. If there is any single aspect to Eleanor’s work that resonates the strongest, it is this generosity. Eleanor shares the landscapes that she has discovered on her artistic journey, and in doing so, she encourages us to explore the corresponding realm within ourselves.
"Tradition Meets Innovation In Postmodern Photography", 'Gallery & Studio' magazine, April/May2007, by: Maureen Flynn
". . . Painterly qualities also come into play in Louisiana resident Eleanor Owen Kerr's poetic topographical views of land masses and waterways, with their dramatic shadowplay and luminous reflections. Seeking the landscape's 'mysterious, hidden depths', Kerr exerts control over the subtle tonal modulations..."
"Photography's Hot at Fraser's Competition Show", by Claudia Rousseau, Bethesda Gazette, March 29, 2006
The fourth annual Bethesda International Photography Competition coincided with the publication of a national art magazine cover that features the headline ‘‘Photography: What’s Hot” — both a question and a statement.
What is hot in photography these days? Art photography is more popular than ever. Collectors are willing to spend large sums, more than a million dollars in a recent auction, on individual prints. A look at the work of the competition winners now at the Fraser Gallery in Bethesda also indicates that traditional photography is still healthy — despite Kodak’s 2005 announcement that it would no longer manufacture black and white printing papers. Indeed, it looks like this industrial benchmark is neither spelling the demise of traditional photography nor rendering old-fashioned the look of black and white prints made from film negatives. Much to the contrary, while many have been saying that photography’s future is not in the darkroom, traditional black and white prints still dominate the market for collectors who balk at digital prints of any kind. Yet, although the deep tonal look of a gelatin silver print currently cannot be matched digitally, digital results do keep getting more interesting.
However you look at it, while the pendulum of taste is always swinging, it seems that older modernist aesthetics are again on the rise — away from the big, cool, digitally enhanced color prints of the past decade, and reaffirming something fundamental in traditional photography that refuses to lose its appeal. . .
. . .David Ashman’s front steps and doorway in ‘‘Cathedral Street, No. 3” and Eleanor Owen Kerr’s view of a bayou in ‘‘Before the Storm: New Orleans” show that crisp depth of tone, especially in the blacks, that can be achieved only with the black and white gelatin silver print technique. Both these works, with their topographical approach, are in sync with the rising taste for images that not only have that kind of depth, but also achieve a sort of intimacy without seeming staged.
John Wall, SouthernPhotography.blogspot.com, January 18, 2013
[discussing Kerr's "On the Batture" portfolio] " Trace, illusion, permanence, the ephemeral, the enduring -- aspects of the South's haunted landscape, well-seen and well-captured in this work. "