Black background with a white gate symbol to the right and a white shape that resembles a squid to the left. A pink rectangle sits at the very top left corner. The image is 12 x 16 inches
Farming No. 27
Sumi ink and gouache

I’m very interested in representing farming practices, agricultural land, and land ownership in my art work. My work plays with real and imaginary boundaries and the idea of historic pathways that have connected spaces and places in the past. This year I wanted to express my growing unease about the health of our local ecosystems, and the mental health of farmers and farm workers.

Many of the painted pieces begin as discarded canvases, and I work with their existing qualities to continually re-work the surface until the image somehow resolves itself. For the drawings and graphic works, I often start with field patterns and include graphic marks that represent agricultural problems. At the same time, I love to think about the many layers of agricultural history, and often speculate about the generations who have fed their soils and communities with skill and understanding. Symbols such as the gate, the tally mark and dotted lines have emerged as significant elements for this current series.

The work is also a visual record of my growing understanding of the many environmental problems our society faces.  Several years ago I began to produce paintings that express my reaction to factory farming, and the huge departure these practices represent from the ancient traditions of animal husbandry that our ancestors developed over millennia. Slowly, the land itself began to feature in my work and I wanted to express the huge sense of loss and desperation that farmers are experiencing in the face of corporate greed and its disregard for our precious environmental systems.