House Made By Hand

House Made By Hand
Archival Digital Print
Amanda Breitbach
Circle, Montana
22" x 30"

My most recent project, Land/People, investigates the decline of family farming and the emotional and spiritual issues that underlay the human relationship to land, making larger, universal relationships visible through my family’s and my own experience.

The project combines panoramic and aerial images of my family’s farmland in eastern Montana with intimate photographs of family members and domestic spaces. Panoramic images constructed from multiple photographs have visible seams, creating a sense of experience and movement while expressing the inadequacy of a single view to capture the entirety of a vast landscape and the complex culture that depends on it. They also remind the viewer that these images are always subjective, layered with my own personal biases and family history. The broken grid formed in certain images references the grid of land ownership created by programs like the Homestead Act, which allowed families like mine to claim lands in the West for farming and ranching. The interrupted horizon of the multi-panel pieces is another visual reference to the grid, while photographs depicting a deep vertical space are meant to show the richness of a landscape often described as empty or barren.