Things do not need to be obvious in order to exist.
That sound so simple that it’s not worth saying, no? But then again, we live in a society where, when someone intones, “Seeing is believing,” too many people nod their heads in assent.
(As an aside, maybe we can get rid of that trite old maxim, given that, in these days of photo, video, and voice manipulation, what we see and hear is not necessarily – and quite probably is not -- . . . real.)
Let’s go back to our first sentence, and look at it in light of Hidden Homestead, the artwork. A copse of Lombardy trees, which are not something that are native to the dry landscapes of the Eastern Washington, USA, region, stand sentinel over what used to be a homestead. A human hand, before setting the foundation for a dwelling, took time to plant these trees, creating a wind break and defining an area that was to be a family home, a place for children to grow up in, for gardens to be nourished, for that house where there would be life and light, laughter and pain.
Today, it’s easy to miss seeing these trees while driving on the highway that, at a distance, passes by and through the landscape. The trees are from another time and another place, a time that is really not so long ago – 50 years? 100 years? But from the standpoint of today’s obsession with technology and busyness as the only truths that exist, a long time ago indeed.
One could say, because even when you get up close to the trees, you won’t find the homestead – it is long gone – that maybe it never existed at all. But this is putting too much confidence in one’s eyes without letting one’s intellect join in.
It takes some thought, some reflection, and a delightful dose of imagination, to observe the trees, make deductions, and reflect upon what once was. It’s not obvious, but it doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist.
Lombardy Homestead, also on this site, is a companion piece -- showing a similar scene in high summer -- to Hidden Homestead.
Featured in 18 Fine Art America groups.
January 24th, 2020
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