Photographs by Sharon Lockhart. Essays by Kathy Halbreich, Linda Norden and Frances Stark.
148 pp., 76 color and 5 b&w illustrations, 9½x11½".
In the film and photographic series Pine Flat constructed over a three year
period, Sharon Lockhart addresses the experience of an American childhood,
using the stunning landscape of America's Sierra Nevada Mountains to bring
home the close relationships of children with their natural surroundings.
Lockhart began by constructing a portrait studio in a small rural community,
and extending an open invitation to local children, and then by immersing
herself in their environment and noting the complexity of their interactions.
Her highly descriptive, almost painterly portraits, taken over the course of several
years, abjure narration for the pleasure of the gaze and the notion of temporality.
The studio remains a constant, its black backdrop, cement floor and
natural lighting a theatrical setting that allows the children to develop a different
kind of relationship to the camera. Those stills stand in stark contrast to
the pictorialism of a series showing the community's majestic natural surroundings,
and to the portraits on 16mm film that accompany them, which are
both literally and figuratively moving.