Postcards from the Field: Contemporary Pastoralism

A new solo show is up at Boston Sculptors Gallery through December 13

 Installation view of Postcards from the Field: Contemporary Pastoralism

Installation view of Postcards from the Field: Contemporary Pastoralism

Every family has a farm somewhere in their past—a place where people came together to provide for the days ahead. As the seasons turned people helped their neighbors to bring in the hay or with lambing and harvest, making it the heart of the community. Men and women worked amidst smells and textures foreign to us now. Women, particularly, lived in a world of texture: running silky fibers through their hands as they spun and wove clothes, sifting through feathers and slippery intestines as they prepared food, sorting through rough and heavy rocks as they tended the homestead garden. Evidence of these lost homesteads is all over New England. A winter walk in the woods reveals dismembered stonewalls or collapsed barns surrounded by encroaching forest. It was these textural memorials of our landscape’s history that first inspired this body of work.

he Contemporary Pastoralism project was born out of a response to the working farms that surround my studio. Like pastoral painters that once walked the countryside, I have traded studio for farm to create site-specific explorations in collaboration with the seasonal rhythms, muddy pastures and beating hearts of small homesteads. It is not an explanation of what we have lost, but rather an exploration of what we may find. It is a way of looking: a rediscovery and reinvention of what we may already know.