Friday, February 19, 2010

Extraordinary Landscapes

John Divola, Moreton Bay Fig Trees (Ficus Macrophylla), Long Beach, California, HP Vivera Pigment on Crane Museo and Epson Ultrachrome Pigment on Crane Museo, 24 x 30 inches. Credit: © John Divola, courtesy George Eastman House.

In the summer of 2007, a curatorial team from George Eastman House invited twelve photographers to photograph the sites designated by The Cultural Landscape Foundation as their 2007 Landslide landscapes. The photographs focus on culturally significant landscapes at risk of alteration or destruction, and include trees and other plantings that have witnessed or withstood major cultural or natural events.

The exhibit, "Heroes of Horticulture" documents the sole surviving witnesses to some of the nation's greatest people and most significant moments. Some are hundreds of years old: the horse chestnut tree that shaded suffragist Susan B. Anthony in the late 19th century; the live oak tree allée in Houston; and Charleston's angel southern live oak, a majestic living legacy from the antebellum South.

These photographic collaborations with artists, now a traveling exhibit, have yielded compelling interpretations of extraordinary places. And, for most of us, this is the only way we may ever experience the subjects and places depicted.

The exhibit is now appearing at the Massey, Crystal Bridges' temporary gallery space in downtown Bentonville, 125 W. Central Avenue. If you get a chance go see it!--Ruth Mitchell

(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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