Curator's Photo Diary
By Roy Hickling
Photography By Greg Amann


August 10,1996
After sending Joe (a prairie boy) descriptions of various Ontario crops throughout
their growth cycles, Joe's first image comes in by fax. A draft horse - a perfect
image for the plowing match and designed in such a way that it can be planted
and harvested relatively easily. I was both pleased and relieved; practicality
hadn't interfered with creativity and vice versa.
The harness will be bare earth, disced on after the wheat is harvested. Joe will
personally work on the shafts thus hooking the horse to the plough during the
1997 International Plowing Match.
servey001.jpg - 26.5 K September 25, 1996
Georgian College survey students placed over 500 stakes in the field to lay out the image of the horse. They worked from a blueprint, generated by a computer program, that plots the perimeters of odd shapes ... even horses. At times they had three laser transits in the field, each with a chip that could precisely locate each co-ordinate. They finished the layout on the evening of Friday, October 4, and the next day Scott Dobson worked the field for the first time.
oct696001.jpg - 50.7 K October 6, 1996

After an unseasonably wet early fall I arrived at the field, along with Greg Amann, Peter Lee, Doug Scholes and about 500 seagulls to take advantage of a brief dry spell to get some seed in the ground.

That's me loading my seed drill with winter wheat , the first crop to go in and the one that makes up the horses' body.

tractor4.jpg - 23.8 K Round one of a giant "connect the dots" puzzle. It took as long to plant the first round as it did to complete the other l6 acres.
tractor3.jpg - 26.5 K Tight areas like the ears and mouth were deliberately over planted and will be trimmed out by hand in the spring. That's why Joe's horse appears to be sticking his tongue out.
tractor1.jpg - 26.5 K The metal flags allowed me to run over them while planting tight inside curves. (I'm afraid that the odd wooden stake on an easy outside curve met its untimely demise as well.)
joeroy.jpg - 23.6 K

October 20, 1996
Joe Fafard inspects the largest piece he has worked on to date. He was up for an opening of his work at the Mira Godard Gallery (Toronto), and for our radio interview with Peter Gzowski on CBC's Morningside. It was great to finally meet Joe face to face and introduce him to the many people involved with this project.

mud.jpg - 53.0 K Not much top on the wheat to take it into the winter, but we have our fingers crossed. I've enjoyed watching my artist friends becoming a little more weather conscious as mother nature affects our plans.
joewilliam.jpg - 48.7 K Joe Fafard with William Moore on the grounds of the historical estate that currently is the MacLaren Art Centre's home. William, Director/Curator of the MacLaren, had the original crop picture idea and was the one who phoned Joe and got the ball rolling.


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Copyright 1997, Peter Lee

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