In this highlight of the Atelier 33 exhibition, we’ll look at Sandy Gotlib‘s ongoing collection, Framingham Farms. Sandy’s current work, showing in the Griffin Main Gallery until March 26, 2021, belongs to a year-long project documenting the surviving farms of Framingham, Massachusetts. To hear more about Sandy’s work, we asked him some questions.
Which of these images was the impetus for this series? How did it inform how you completed the series?
While my intent was to continue to document an entire year – a full agricultural cycle – on the farms, initially I found myself drawn to these plastic-sheathed, light-filled greenhouses which grounds the series of images on display.
How has your photography changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic? Has the Atelier been a motivator through these trying times?
I found that the restrictions imposed by COVID and the effects on my own motivation to work caused me to set aside photography in the early months of the pandemic. The Atelier was a huge help in providing structure and motivation to get my practice re-started.
What do you hope we as viewers take away from viewing your work?
I hope that viewers take away the realization that there is beauty and wonder to be found in these humble lands and simple structures and that one does need to go far to find it. Additionally, I hope to provide another view of the place that I live for those who only know Framingham as a city of shopping malls and industry.
Why was it important for you to preserve these farms photographically?
While some of these farms are “protected space” others are constantly under the threat of development; once developed, the space is gone forever and while I’d like to think that they will ultimately be physically preserved at the very least I’m wanting to preserve them photographically.
Tell us what is next for you creatively.
I am planning to continue this project and document the farms (or a farm) through a full year agricultural cycle. At the same time I plan to continue to work on another long-term project that documents the many aspects of “life on the Framingham Common.”