When Hay Meets High Art - Modern Farmer

When Hay Meets High Art

For Canadian artist Becka Viau, agriculture is a muse, and hay is art.

Photography

Her past projects include an interactive photo project about young farmers and installation art inspired by robotic milkers. Starting in May, she’ll adorn hay bales on working farms across Prince Edward Island with lush arrangements of living flowers for her “Agrarian Monuments” installation series.

Monument (Pedestrian view), 2014. Living installation, Charlottetown, PE. Materials: 8 Round Hay Bales.1
Monument (Pedestrian view), 2014. Living installation, Charlottetown, PE. Materials: 8 Round Hay Bales.
Monument (Street view), 2014. Living installation, Charlottetown, PE. Materials: 8 Round Hay Bales.2
Monument (Street view), 2014. Living installation, Charlottetown, PE. Materials: 8 Round Hay Bales.
Monument (Detail), 2014. Living installation, Charlottetown, PE. Materials: 8 Round Hay Bales.3
Monument (Detail), 2014. Living installation, Charlottetown, PE. Materials: 8 Round Hay Bales.
1
Monument (Pedestrian view), 2014. Living installation, Charlottetown, PE. Materials: 8 Round Hay Bales.
2
Monument (Street view), 2014. Living installation, Charlottetown, PE. Materials: 8 Round Hay Bales.
3
Monument (Detail), 2014. Living installation, Charlottetown, PE. Materials: 8 Round Hay Bales.

The flowers will live, die and deteriorate depending on weather conditions. “Hay bales are this romantic symbol of pastoralism, but the hay bale is a manufactured object. It takes a very specific type of machine to make this specific type of bale,” says Viau, who threaded dozens of perfect red roses into a prototype last year.

Hay Bale, 2011. Living installation, Halifax, NS. Materials: Round Hay Bale.1
Hay Bale, 2011. Living installation, Halifax, NS. Materials: Round Hay Bale.
43 Head of Cattle: 2,570 Gallons of Milk: 10,278,400 Gallons of Water, 2011. Kinetic Living Sculpture, Halifax, NS. Materials: Rectangular Hay Bales, Red Roses, Brass pipe, Brass cow bells, twine, fountain pump, 'milk,' tin buckets.2
43 Head of Cattle: 2,570 Gallons of Milk: 10,278,400 Gallons of Water, 2011. Kinetic Living Sculpture, Halifax, NS. Materials: Rectangular Hay Bales, Red Roses, Brass pipe, Brass cow bells, twine, fountain pump, 'milk,' tin buckets.
1
Hay Bale, 2011. Living installation, Halifax, NS. Materials: Round Hay Bale.
2
43 Head of Cattle: 2,570 Gallons of Milk: 10,278,400 Gallons of Water, 2011. Kinetic Living Sculpture, Halifax, NS. Materials: Rectangular Hay Bales, Red Roses, Brass pipe, Brass cow bells, twine, fountain pump, 'milk,' tin buckets.

Her work is a reaction to landscape painters who use bales as romantic symbols for agrarian life. Yes, hers will be pretty, too, but they will also highlight the cycle of life and death on a farm. It will be beautiful, but will also have the “feeling of a graveyard,” says Viau.

 Young Farmers: Mathias Drake, 2009. Millview, PE. Materials: Photograph.1
Young Farmers: Mathias Drake, 2009. Millview, PE. Materials: Photograph.
Young Farmers: Sally Bernard, 2009. Lower Freetown, PE. Materials: Photograph.2
Young Farmers: Sally Bernard, 2009. Lower Freetown, PE. Materials: Photograph.
1
Young Farmers: Mathias Drake, 2009. Millview, PE. Materials: Photograph.
2
Young Farmers: Sally Bernard, 2009. Lower Freetown, PE. Materials: Photograph.

1
Leave a Reply

0 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Related
Farm Favorites
Read the latest reviews on our favorite products.
Tom Chappell’s Ramblers Way knits

Whether toothpaste or cardigans, Chappell is selling the idea that businesses should not exist just... (more)

Things We Love: AKUA Kelp Jerky

If you told me there was a jerky snack made out of kelp - yes,... (more)

Things We Love: CleverMade Snapbasket Cooler

It can keep up to 50 cans chilled for up to 36 hours and collapses... (more)

Things We Love: Republic of Tea Daily Greens Single Sips

It's like green juice: but way easier.

More shopping