I. Bodies of Work /

mother lode

Untitled (mother, earth mantle), 2020. Pigment print, 76 x 112 cm framed and 71.8 x 107.8 cm print size.

2020

mother lode engages an inspirational site: a small farm that ameliorates climate change and stands for food security and food ethics. Wairarapa Eco Farm is an oasis, a tiny salve on the open wound of the climate emergency. Disrupting our aesthetically based relationship with garden landscapes and the Edenic heritage of such manufactured notions of nature, this group of images engage with the history of gardens and their representation in an art historical context. Taken at Wairarapa Eco Farm, they oppose the formulaic and crafted nature of the gardens we have come to regard as beautiful and which have long populated our art historical frame. This garden is a wholly different aesthetic beast where groupings of kale can just be seen emerging from clumps of grass in late summer, and trees, herbs and all kinds of plant matter co-exist and thrive.

This patch of ground is where my vegetables and eggs have been produced for the last thirteen years. The farm operates under the political structure of Community Supported Agriculture, which allows farmers to rely on a predictable income through the advance payment of shares in return for a season’s produce. Oppositional to the monolithic and monocultural farms that surround it, Wairarapa Eco Farm offers an alternate model for food production and supply. mother lode the artist book also includes a group of digital drawings – a collaboration with designer Duncan Munro – which are generated from elements of the photographs, referring to unseen aspects of the farm eco-system: the machinations of microbes, soil, and living organisms of all types.

— Ann Shelton

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Untitled (green ground, circle, herbal), 2020. Pigment print, 76 x 112 cm framed and 71.8 x 107.8 cm print size.
Untitled (Imentet, Ra), 2020. Pigment print, 76 x 112 cm framed and 71.8 x 107.8 cm print size.
Untitled (arch, Azorhizobium), 2020. Pigment print, 76 x 112 cm framed and 71.8 x 107.8 cm print size.
Untitled (she who marks the boundary, Sunna), 2020. Pigment print, 60.5 x 88.5 cm framed and 56.0 x 86.0 cm print size.
Untitled (Gaia, fixation), 2020. Pigment print, 60.5 x 88.5 cm framed and 56.0 x 86.0 cm print size.
Untitled (bringer, Hathor), 2020. Pigment print, 76 x 112 cm framed and 71.8 x 107.8 cm print size.
Untitled (planet bright), 2020. Pigment print, 76 x 112 cm framed and 71.8 x 107.8 cm print size.
Untitled (she who carries the shit, decomposition), 2020. Pigment print, 76 x 112 cm framed and 71.8 x 107.8 cm print size.
Untitled (Sol, Sinorhizobium), 2020. Pigment print, 60.5 x 88.5 cm framed and 56.0 x 86.0 cm print size.
mother lode, July 2020. Installation view, Bartley and Company Art, Wellington.
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