between planting and picking
Parting the curtain, [Sandi] Haber Fifield allows viewers to witness what customers normally do not experience at the farm stand or grocers. Along the way, we encounter intimate moments of specificity, stillness, and splendor.
–Leslie K. Brown, Independent Curator and Educator
Between Planting and Picking (2011) is a series of photographs made by the artist as she traveled to small family-run farms from the East to the West Coast over the course of two growing seasons (Green Gulch in Muir Beach; orchards along the Mississippi River in Brussels, MO; Guy Beardsley's eco-garden in Shelton, CT). In an attempt to better convey how America feeds itself, this project takes a departure from the artist’s usual multi-image format into straight photography. Its documentary style is open-ended, however, and encourages many points of association as it tacitly acknowledges the nature of its subject: how the earth and the people who live on it unite to participate in the gentle transit of seasonal growth and harvest.
Vince Aletti writes: “The color photographs that Haber Fifield took at American family farms in the past two years are ingratiatingly modest — much like the farms themselves, some of which don’t appear to be much bigger than several suburban back yards. There are a few broad vistas of planted fields and orchards, but most of the pictures are closer looks at garden plots, greenhouse debris, and tools at the ready. Although these are straightforward, unpretentious documents, Haber Fifield never seems like a disinterested observer. The sense of cozy familiarity in her photographs makes even a hardened urbanite feel right at home.
–The New Yorker, April 2011
Between Planting and Picking is a 88-page color publication by Charta, 2011, and includes texts by Dominique Browning and Leslie K. Brown.