Flying Horses
Flying Horses

Material: Archival Pigment Print.

Image Size: 15” X 12” on 16” X 13” 100% cotton rag paper.

(For shipping, print is on an acid-free board and sleeved in archival acetate.)

Price: $200 plus $20.00 for materials, handling, and shipping.


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Dimbers exist in a world where monsters sleep under beds, monkeys hitch rides on birds, and flying horses dangle from sky pulleys. There, it rains umbrellas on grasshoppers and toy soldiers follow bagpipers into jungles. It is a place where dark truths hide behind whimsy.

Dimbers are precious treasures of beauty and sentiment. To preserve our culture, southern women pass their collections onto the next generation. I inherited my name from my mother, who inherited her name from her mother, who inherited her name from her mother, who inherited her name from “Nell” in Charles Dickerson’s novel, The Old Curiosity Shop. Four generations of curiosities came with the name.

Dimbers are tiny objects arranged on fabricated sets in actual scale. They dwell in Constructed Realities where rooms and landscapes are fleeting impressions on a white ground. Ambiguity allows viewers to see with their own eyes and interpret their own stories.

Sometimes the dimbers interact with miniature reproductions of my grandmother’s furniture, which she acquired for my mother’s dollhouse. Architectural elements, such as a window or a fireplace, are movie sets fabricated from photographs I’ve taken of antebellum homes. Showing the rigging encourages the viewer to suspend disbelief and participate in the story. Shadows are deliberate paradoxes.

My goal is to preserve the memories of my maternal ancestors and serve as the custodian of their cherished dimbers.


Nell Dickerson is a Hollywood art director and set designer, fine-art photographer, and preservation architect. The series, DIMBERS, continues the themes of her successful photography books about historic and cultural preservation of the Deep South: “GONE: A Photographic Plea for Preservation,” BelleBooks, 2011; and “PORCH DOGS,” John F. Blair Publisher, 2013. Amazon sales ranked “GONE” as #1 in both photography and architecture books, and “PORCH DOGS” as #1 in both photography and animal books. “PORCH DOGS” won both the Benjamin Franklin and Gold Medal awards from the Independent Book Publishers Association, as well as a bronze medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

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