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Adam Morales

(1947– )

Adam Morales

Adam Morales has spent his entire life living within 50 feet of the place where he was born in 1947, in the village of Pierre Part in Assumption Parish, Louisiana. He's never more than a few yards from water on either side of his property, and when the Mississippi starts rising in late February each year, he can shove off in a small boat from his dock and go nearly anywhere in the great Atchafalaya Swamp.

For many years Morales worked in the surrounding community as a carpenter, but when he developed a degenerative arthritic condition in his knees and hands, doctors told him he could no longer pursue his trade. Despite his strong religious belief that everything that happens is for a purpose, he entered a deep depression, which lingered until he discovered that he had somehow gained an ability to recognize forms and suggestive shapes in random pieces of weathered driftwood.

Now in his premature retirement, Morales is expressing his feelings and deeply held beliefs by working with the evocative gray, swirling matter. He's got a yard full of it. It spills across the road from his makeshift workshop (also made of driftwood) and in the other direction, out into the swamp that begins just a few yards behind his house. He especially enjoys heading into the flooded woods at night, "when it's just me, God, and nature all by ourselves. With nothing but my boat and my sealed-beam light, in all that dark, I feel closer to God."

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