Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in Belfast has just opened “Rural Harvest”, a gripping photographic saga about family farming in Maine. Photographer Lottie Hedley believes that beauty, inspiration, conflict, determination, and intrigue all exist in our own backyards and deserve our attention. Her drive is to tell local stories which are often overlooked because of their proximity.
“Rural Harvest” is a series of stark and gripping black and white photographs, full of contrast and mood. They document the life and work of the Gerritsen family: Jim and Megan and their four children, Peter, Caleb, Sarah and Amy. The Gerritsens organically farm potatoes and other vegetables for seed on Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine.
Says Hedley: “The work is about stewardship and the vulnerability of family farming. In making the work, I was very lucky to spend time with Jim and Megan Gerritsen and their lovely and very hard working family in Aroostook County. This work is the beginning of what will be an ongoing series looking at the institution of the family farm: the vulnerability of the family farm, the next generation of farmers, the disappearance of the multi-generational farms, and new initiatives to keep family farming alive.”
Hedley’s photographs will be accompanied by several poems written by Maine poet Bob MacLaughlin, specifically for this show. Both the photographer and poet were present at the exhibit’s opening reception on Wednesday April 4th,
Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide non-profit organization working to permanently preserve and protect Maine’s agricultural lands, and to keep Maine’s farms farming. Maine Farmland Trust created its gallery to celebrate art in agriculture, and to inspire and inform the public. Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is located at 97 Main Street in Belfast. For more information visit mainefarmlandtrust.org.