Decorating the Farm

Wow, the interiors of these barns are stunning. You almost forget that you’re looking at a farm! I came across these images of Esther Dormer’s property in a NY Times article last month entitled “The Decorated Shed.” The story is pretty interesting to me and I’m not sure exactly how to respond to it. Ms. Dormer describes herself as “a suburban girl who couldn’t keep a houseplant alive,” but years ago bought a farm in Pennsylvania with the hopes of bringing it back to life to teach her two children where their food came from. Her intention was to grow produce and donate it to the local food bank. She hired a farmer and eventually a team of volunteers who harvested “more than 150,000 pounds of produce” and raised animals including “pot-bellied pigs, goats, chickens, llamas, horses and a donkey.” After seven years of hard work towards reviving the farm, Dormer decided to turn the estate into a weekend getaway. Hence the beautiful decorating job…

As a designer who is about to marry an aspiring farmer, this intrigues me and raises a few questions about the ‘farm-aesthetic’ that has been ever-present in our visual culture for quite some time. You see it everywhere – retail spaces, residential interiors, consumer products etc. There seems to be a lasting craving for something more rustic, old, artistan – and less polished, new, disposable. But beneath this desire for things to look more ‘honest, real and credible,’ are we missing the point all together and sacrificing real authenticity, real progress? I couldn’t help but feel sad that a new working small-scale farm (which this country so badly needs), had been converted back to a place with less function and more form. Couldn’t there be a happy place where the two meet? Your thoughts?

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July 5, 2011   No Comments   Posted under Inspiration
Studio.

Dana McClure is a Brooklyn-based visual artist & designer working across a variety of disciplines including printmaking, collage, painting, graphic design, & time-based media. This archive is a shared collection of inspiration, work-in-process, & studio updates. { studio site }

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