Land & Memory juxtaposes fragments of faces with images of middle-American farm fields on the edge of urban and suburban development. The project expands the themes of two earlier bodies of paintings, Historical Dislocations in the American Landscape and The Last American Farm.
For over twenty years my work has investigated memories of family, home, and community, the nature of physical displacement and spiritual homelessness, and the search for cultural authenticity and identity in the everyday places of life.
J.A. Walker in The Human Home wrote, "The corollary of the belief that beauty exists only in special places is the myth that beauty cannot exist in the ordinary places in which people live."
The concept of memory is central to the work. The images recall the beauty of "ordinary" fields drawn from my childhood on a small country farm that no longer exists, not unlike the countless family farms once prevalent across the United States. By visually implanting my memories onto the fragment portraits above a disappearing rural America, I stage an encounter between the faces and the land. The diptychs preserve and archive a relationship with a landscape that soon may be accessible by few other means.
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