Stocking Up

In central Maine, where I live, people still put up food for the winter. They dry herbs, forage for mushrooms, stuff the freezer full of venison, and load up cellar shelves with pickles and canned tomatoes.

To many, a pickle is a pickle is a pickle, but different people prep food differently and it’s easy to see the results as an indicator of personality. Some are tidy and some are not. Some carefully sort their green beans by size and shape while others don’t even skin their tomatoes.

Like much of my work, these pictures concern not just the nominal subject of the photograph but also the people and forces behind it. No two people fill a pickle jar exactly the same way and in that jar traces of both the garden and the gardener can be found. But at the same time, the objects, as they are portrayed in these pictures, can seem to take on a life of their own, to have a sense of presence that is related to, yet distinct from, the circumstances of their creation. They are no longer utilitarian objects, but have instead become specimens and, by extension, foils for our projections.
Wax BeansPickled BeetsLemon Cucumber PicklesCloverFrozen StrawberriesFrozen BlueberriesFrozen Green BeansButter BeansScarlett Runner BeansEaster Egg #258Easter Egg #261Work Glove #033Work Glove #051