Olivia Valentine
Field Edgings is an ongoing series of photographic constructions started in Steuben, Wisconsin in 2011. All of the works involve photographs of the landscape, taken at the edges of the day, combined with sewing thread and sewing “findings” such as clasps, snaps, and pins.  These small-scale constructions pursue ideas about boundaries and edges in the landscape and create relationships to the edges found in textiles, clothing, and garments, creating a scale shift that relates the edges of the body to the edges we make and perceive in the land.

While working at Viking Lake State Park during the summer of 2019, the constructed lake that forms the focus of the park was manipulated to lower the level of the water, in an effort to concentrate the fish populations. This resulted in a further manipulated landscape and lake edge that was documented in many of the images taken for this project.  This human manipulation of the water, landscape, and wildlife was further manipulated through my constructions, many of which attempted to visualize the changes in the lake levels and edges.  Ultimately, understanding Viking Lake as a space of ongoing human manipulation and use is the focus of this new body of work.

My work at Viking Lake is part of  20 Artists, 20 Parks, a project that came together to celebrate the centenial of the Iowa State Parks in 2020. The project was initiated by artist Nancy Thompson and is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State University College of Design, and the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.