About the Project
"The search for homeplace is the mythical search for the axis mundi, for a center, for some place to stand, for something to hang on to." -Lucy Lippard, from The Lure of the Local
Home, for me, will always be a 1200-acre farm in the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota. Its original 160 acres were homesteaded in 1884 by my great-great grandfather, a Norwegian immigrant. My parents are now the fourth, and last, consecutive generation to work our land, as my siblings and I (like so many other young people) have all moved away to pursue other careers. These circumstances provided me with the impetus to document our farm and its origins in Norway at this critical juncture. I combine my images with materials from my family’s archive, such as documents and snapshots, to create a rich multi-layered narrative. Just as different layers of texts intermingle on reused ancient manuscript pages, the history of our farm is marked again and again on the land as a palimpsest. As world populations shift from agrarian to urban lifestyles, our small family farm is only one amongst many that are approaching a crossroads. What will happen to them? Who will maintain these traditions and what does this tradition mean?
After six years of working on this photographic project, “Homeplace” will be published by Daylight in Fall 2013—my first book! And because this is my first book, the publishers have asked that I cover part of the publishing costs. I cannot raise these funds alone and am asking for your help. Please donate and spread the word to make this book come to life!
Proposed Book Specs & Your Contributions:
Clothbound, hardcover book
Approximately 160 pages, with color and black and white photographs and scholarly texts
Size: 8x10 inches
Your contributions will help pay for the publishing costs, and in exchange I am offering a number of exciting rewards, including:
- thank you postcards with an image from the book
- mass-produced and hand-printed limited edition prints in a variety of sizes
- signed and numbered copies of the book, available only through me
- and a chance to commission me for a custom photograph!
Think of this campaign as a pre-publication sale. By purchasing now, you have the chance to get one of the first 500 copies of the book and the same hand-printed, limited edition black and white gelatin silver prints as found in the collections of the National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen, Minot State University in North Dakota, the University of Iowa (Iowa City), and private collections throughout the United States, Denmark, and France. Please note that shipping is included with all perks, as is a thank you on my website.
Any additional funds I raise will go towards upgrading the book, such as using a higher quality paper, different colored endsheets, etc.
This book will allow me to share this important project with a wider audience. I’ve chosen to work with Daylight, instead of self-publishing, because they are a respected publisher with a long history of supporting smart, conscientious, and socially engaged projects. Plus, they have a distribution partnership with D.A.P. (Distributed Art Publishers), “the world’s top distributor of art books.”
I know that not everyone can contribute financially--you can help by spreading the word & sharing my Indiegogo campaign with others. I'm especially interested in generating greater interest via online, social, & print media. I will also be accepting bulk orders of books for gifts or resale. Please email me (email@example.com) for further information. Also, don't hesitate to contact me if you would prefer to make an arrangement offline. Any support that you can offer as I undertake this endeavor will be much appreciated!
About the Artist
Sarah Christianson (b. 1982) grew up on a four-generation family farm near Cummings, North Dakota. Immersed in that vast expanse of the Great Plains, she developed a strong affinity for the landscape and the stories it contains. This experience has had a profound effect on her work, as she enjoys creating narratives about place and personal experience through time, historical research, and the landscape. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in the collections of several institutions in the Midwest and the National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen, Denmark. She received a BFA in photography at Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2005 and an MFA in photography from the University of Minnesota in 2009. Since then, she has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area where she teaches photography at City College of San Francisco, volunteers at RayKo Photo Center, and remains an active member of the Society for Photographic Education.
For more information, please visit her website, and check out these interviews: