stone walls

stone walls

In her series STONE WALLS, Cook examines one of man's earliest and most enduring methods of defining territories: the stone wall. Sculptural and practical, majestic and humble, Cook's photographs of dry stone walls capture a fundamental relationship between human beings and the landscape. STONE WALLS was conceived by Mariana Cook, the last protégé of Ansel Adams, at her home on Martha's Vineyard on the day before Thanksgiving 2002. After 56 cows strayed through a crumbling section of the stone wall she shares with her neighbor, Cook studied the tumbled wall and was struck by its beauty. With that inspiration, Cook spent the next eight years traveling to farms, towns, and temples in Peru, Great Britain, Ireland, the Mediterranean, New England, and Kentucky in pursuit of dry stone walls. The striking black-and-white photographs on view portray the wall in landscape, the wall in abstract form, and the return of rocks to nature. Cook is fascinated with the juxtaposition of stones and geometric composition, as well as with the resonance among walls of different cultures. The walls were photographed by Cook between 2002 and 2010 and were built as early as 3600 B.C. Dry stone walls—those constructed without the use of mortar with stones skillfully selected and placed to ensure strength and durability—are slowly falling into disrepair or being removed from the landscape. Cook writes, "The walls collapse and are replaced by concrete blocks, wire or wooden fences. . . . The self-sufficient family life and closeness bred by the farm is disappearing with its walls."

stone walls

  • Deborah Bell Photographs's Exhibitions 5

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