Land O'Lactation, 2007, Wood, foam, paint, powdered silica, water, pumps, model railroad parts, 84 x 96 x 96 inches
A giant Lionel scale locomotive landscape of mountainous breasts sporting geysers of milk, created with my spouse, Ellen Wetmore. Featured in the exhibition Trainscape: Installation Art for Model Railroads at the DeCordova Museum, Sep 1, 2007 - Jan 13, 2008.
The exhibition featured four model trains that would run through the artworks created for the show, each of which had to be constructed in an 8x8 foot square with Lionel Fastrack entering and exiting at just the right spots to connect to the other installations. It was a sort of exquisite corpse for train and sculpture geeks.
Our installation was a mountainous landscape of lactating breasts, complete with milk geysers and a lake. We had nursing son at the time; Ellen had begun developing a body of work based on the surreal body transformations of pregnancy and motherhood. I had just finished creating SPUDNIK, so I was deep in the midst of the idea of creating fantastic universes.
Land O'Lactation Postcard, 2007, digital composite image
There are nipples in those hills! The wholesome granite mountain landscapes of Yellowstone National Park have been replaced by vistas of curvy, lactating breasts and the hungry mouths of little babies. Steaming geysers of milk shoot forth from sandy desert nipple mounds. Fluffy white clouds harbor searching lips looking to latch onto a mountain peak. Sand formations will take the shape of open, waiting lips to catch trickles of milk. Eccentric groupings of nipples, noses, mouths and cheeks will add points of interest throughout.
What is landscape to an infant? He can see about 12 inches away and only finds comfort in nursing and other close physical contact. His known world is a relatively giant woman's body. In caring for the baby, the mother's most often regarded vistas are his body and her own. This work links the feminization of landscape (conquering the old west, the "abduction" of Europa) to a literal experience from a mother's point of view.
- Chris Bergeron, Fantasies on Track, The Daily News Tribune, Sep 23, 2007
- Greg Cook, Locomotion Commotion, Boston Phoenix, Sep 18, 2007
- Ben Aaronson, Trainscape: Art in Locomotion, Lincoln Journal, Sep 18, 2007
- Cate McQuaid, Keeping Track of Trainscape, Boston Globe, Sep 15, 2007
- Mark Lynch, Inquiry, WICN-FM, Worcester Public Radio, Sep 30, 2007
Land O'Lactation, 2007, installation view. Photo by Greg Cook.