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Mariana Cook: Stone Walls
Text by Wendell Berry, Susan Allport, Lucy Breathitt, Thomas Cummins, Robert O. Paxton, Colin Renfrew, Brendan Dunford.
Photographer Mariana Cook (born 1955) is best known for her intimate character studies of persons both in and out of the public eye, as published in her much-acclaimed collections Fathers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, Generations of Women, Couples, Faces of Science and Mathematicians. Cook departs from her portrait work with Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries, a project that was conceived one day at her home on Martha's Vineyard, when 56 cows strayed through a crumbling section of the stone wall she shares with her neighbor. From this serendipitous moment of inspiration, Cook embarked on an eight-year journey, travelling from New England to the American South, Britain, Ireland, the Mediterranean and Peru in pursuit of dry stone walls. Far from being a conventional travelogue, these beautiful black-and-white photographs portray the wall in landscape, the wall as abstract form, and the return of rocks to nature. Cook is fascinated with the juxtaposition of stones as an instance of geometric composition, as well as with the resonance between walls of different cultures. With a tribute from Wendell Berry and essays providing a context for the walls of each region, the resulting collection captures a fundamental aspect of the relationship human beings forge with the land they inhabit.
Featured image, Mariana Cook's Limestone Field, Inis MeŠin, Ireland is reproduced from Stone Walls. Cook writes, "The spaces in this lace wall allow strong sea winds to pass through without knocking the wall down."
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
The New York Times
Sometimes inspiration arrives when you least expect it. That's certainly true for "Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries," the latest book by the photographer Mariana Cook. For eight years Ms. Cook took her two medium-format cameras and a tripod to places as far afield as Malta, Peru and the Aran Islands, searching for dry stone walls built without mortar but with plenty of patience and ingenuity.
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FROM THE BOOK
"I photographed the wall. I made images of it in all seasons, of both the bits that were still upright and of the tumbled rocks, too. The appearance of each captivated me. I wondered about dry stone walls elsewhere. Over the next eight years, I traveled to places, quite arbitrarily, to see for myself: New England, Kentucky, Britain, Ireland, the Mediterranean, and Peru. Land itself does not know national or political bounds. Across these different regions, the deforested landscapes had been carved by human beings. In stony places everywhere, farmers built walls to contain their animals, remove stones from their arable fields, and define property. It took years for farmers to build their stone walls, but they did it with hard work, bit by bit, in the spirit of leaving a better home for the next generation."
Mariana Cook, excerpted from the introduction to Stone Walls.
USD $50.00 | CAN $67.5
Pub Date: 4/30/2013
Active | In stock
USD $50.00 | CAN $67.5
Pub Date: 7/31/2011
Active | Out of stock