24 X 36
How often have you passed an old barn, or farm building and thought, “How picturesque?” Or, if the old weathered building stands alone amidst a sea of new houses, felt a pang of regret that the farm no longer exists. The march of development is relentless, and the loss of farm land seems inevitable as we expand our population.
In contrast, this piece is an examination of what happens when the small farm is lost to big agri-business. What happens when the family farm is no longer viable because the next generation has gone on to other pursuits? There is no need for the house and barn and silo to shelter a family that works the farm, because the family has died or moved away. Farming, as a way of life is shrinking. So, the abandoned buildings are left to time and weather. And we are left with a land farmed by strangers.
This piece is another of my Tesserae works, and juxtaposes a collection of abandoned farm buildings, against the massive waves of big agriculture that roll on, regardless of the loss of the old family farming tradition. Even though the family has departed, the mark of their passing continues to impact the landscape. While wind and weather eat away at what is left of the old homestead, the newly minted day lights up the bones of an old way of life. The ghost of another era.
The work is an acrylic painting on board, with old oil paintings cut up and planted in patterns reminiscent of crops and fields and orchards. Only the presence of man’s hand has weight … the tesserae pieces are a heavy weight on a landscape filled with light and color.