Harvesting Ethnic Roots and Ghost Harvest
Harvesting Ethnic Roots is a series of large drawings on sheer material normally used to cover vegetable rows and an outdoor installation of seed. As an artist and farmer, my interests in food sovereignty and immigration combined with research, resulted in this series based on the Indigenous Peoples and immigrants who have gathered and cultivated food from the land. The installations in various venues create a ghostly and dreamlike walk-through of plants and vegetables symbolic of the harvest and the sharing of traditional dishes.
The rows of overlapping panels hang from cotton cord like those used during vegetable growing. They gently sway as the viewer walks through the translucent succession of plant imagery, representing foods gathered from the land and plants cultivated for harvest.
A second version, titled Ghost Harvest, was installed in the huge gallery at South Shore Arts in Munster, Indiana. Nature Lovers was a group exhibition curated by Linda Dorman and Tom Torluemke. The high ceilings, lighting, and fan system allowed for constant movement of the flowing panels, bringing the quiet drawings to life.
Harvest was an outdoor installation consisting of seed on top of a painted base that was installed at boundary. Accepting that Nature is often out of ones control while farming, I use the concept of natural intervention as a material in my art. Animals, birds, the wind, and weather scattered and consumed the seed, eventually revealing the painted quote underneath, by the sharecropper and civil rights activist, Fannie Lou Hamer.
This program partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.