Of the over 28,000,000 acres of land that make up the state of Illinois, nearly 80% of it is consumed by farmland. It seemed only appropriate to loosely call these images landscapes, although not conceived in the traditional sense. By applying a rigid compositional approach to this work, the images are reduced to two simple basic elements that of the earth and the sky, separated by a horizon line. On the surface these images all share a similar visual vocabulary, hinging on a mix of abstract and formalistic practices, but more importantly what they all have in common are the physical markings caused by the thousands of farmers who have cultivated, reshaped, and altered their form, thereby creating a new landscape that is utilitarian in nature, but not necessarily natural. Their variety of texture and contour are attributed to the type of crop planted, the tools used to plant and harvest those crops, and each farmers own select set of preferences in regards towards farming. This manufactured landscape pervades most of the state and as such has become Illinois’ identity even though it holds the title of being the nation’s Prairie State.
There are no towering mountain ranges here; the beauty lies in the subtle variation of line on the horizon.