Ellen Konar and Steve Goldband, Fertile Ground

Exhibition Dates: June 22 – July 10, 2022

The photographers live a mere 50 miles from the majestic farmlands of the Central Coast of California, an expansive area of rolling hills of rich black earth and glorious vegetation bathed in coastal fog that produces two-thirds of this country’s fruit, vegetables, and nuts.  Even during the shortest days of winter, this land hosts what seems like endless arrays of nascent seedlings peeking through plastic pathways or hidden in hoop houses that shelter young and vulnerable plants.   The light and lines, rhythm and repetition, precision irrigation lines, and arcs of water inspire awe.  

In the tradition of the New Topographics of Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz and others, images of bucolic landscapes with hyper-functional purpose do more than honor; they raise challenging questions about the sustainability of our food supply and use of scarce resources.  Our black and white images on Kozo paper with wax encaustic reflect and lend texture to the fragility of the system.  In so doing, we intend to bring together what are often vitriolic positions to focus on common goals of nurturing a sustainable, affordable, humane ecosystem to feed America in an era of climate change and political vituperation. 

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