Landscape can be used as a point of reference to explore the cultural relationship of people with their
surroundings. Places leave marks on us just as we leave marks on them. In the Midwest, our history is in
our landscape. Edges of property have different patterns due to differences in usage and in response to
topography. We are “flyover territory,” but evidence of man is present even in the most remote places.
Our interaction with land leaves marks that allow a viewer to understand where the land is on the
spectrum of natural to man-made. Land is our history, but is also a commodity.
Through the medium of printmaking I explore these ideas by carving agricultural patterns onto wooden
furniture. The furniture I carve into had a prior lived history full of meaning to a previous owner.
However, to me the furniture's value is what I paid for it. The ink on the surface of the furniture allows it
to leave an actual mark in response to the marks I carve. Originally, I utilized only hand carving. The
marks I leave on the table are a metaphor for farming and working the land. However, as time progressed,
the process of farming is now greatly aided by machinery. This parallels my use of making marks made
with a Dremel in addition to hand carving. Through this metaphor, my work explores the ties of place to a
person in order to explore how our Midwestern identity relates to our landscape. Nowhere isn’t nowhere
to the people who live and work there.