writing

August & Grain

  The fields were sudden bare – John Clare       Across the field, a half-mile or more away – across a dry liquid rustle of oats – a…

Recollecting Landscapes

Rephotography, Memory and Transformation 1904-1980-2004-2014 Recollecting Landscapes documents over a century of landscape transformation in Flanders. The first step of the project dates from the early twentieth century, when Jean…

To Dig a Hole (You Create a Heap)

  Here’s a joke… Question: Who made money during the Gold Rush? Answer: The ones who sold the shovels.     “You were asked to dig a hole? Do you…

Enemy of the State

Botanical illustrations of the early modern period (1550-1800), the “big science” of their day, served as documentation of useful plants found in colonial territories. Plants such as tobacco, sugar cane,…

Revisiting a Geography of Hope

To be a farmer, at any point in history, means you grow food. You steward the land – soil, water, air, energy, plants, and animals – and make a living…

Sjoerd van Leeuwen

Landscape Amnesia

As the last horse trailer passes you by on the potholed road you take an exit. Across a green pasture you park the car. You stretch your legs. Gravel grinds…

Editorial: Fields

In May 1982, American artist Agnes Denes began to transform a two acre empty plot at the foot of the World Trade Center into her work Wheatfield – A Confrontation,…

Earth Turned Honey

  Moksha The desert has no memory. Sun beats on its chest, collarbone glistens: I wait for rain, an angry sea filling the sky to break, blow, burn, make a…

Undertow

Walking the Edge A trusted mentor once told me, having read my work, “You often write about the meeting places of land and water.” She was right, though I’d never…

Untranslatable

  Chamomile Freak-show Poisonous in the wild, or so I was told, overtaking the verges on the main road, probably nothing after oversized daisies perhaps, a gem or relaxation abates….

Hommes sous Hommes, II

In 2005, I went to Palestine for three weeks with my parents, my wife and our daughter, aged two. We were invited to carry out workshops with young artists and…