James Welling (American, b. 1951)
Soil, South Glastonbury, CT (2002)
Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10”
Gift of the Artist, James Welling, in honor of his mother, Harriett Brewer, a UConn graduate, class of 1945, 2006.26.7
Ice, Lake, Forest, Field
The soils of New England are legendary for their stoniness. Yet here, there isn't a stone in sight. Instead we find the fertile loam soils of what had been the bottom of a vast glacial lake during the Pleistocene Epoch, a lush old-growth forest during the subsequent Holocene Epoch, and a tobacco farm (revealed by the long barn) in the Anthropocene Epoch. The cleat marks of tractor tires signify the burning of fossil fuels that made all this possible. Which of these three epochs is best from the Earth's point of view? There is no answer.