I explore the intersection of nature and culture through my art. The two have been entwined throughout history since early agriculture. I feel photography is the best medium to examine how our society relates to nature in our media driven world – an era in which most of our experience of nature comes through images. I photograph plants and insects in constructed settings – gardens, parks, butterfly houses and garden shows. Such venues show how we collectively regard nature.
As a horticultural photographer, I examine our gardens and farms – the plants, soil, insects and people that work together to provide the produce that we consume. Their role is crucial to our survival – and pleasure. As an artist, I see vegetables and fruits as visual delights that are as glorious and sumptuous as flowers.
These photos are all from the Lane County Farmer’s Market in Eugene, a series years in the making. Local farms and markets have been an important activity throughout human history. For most of us today, they provide the freshest and most immediate access to truly ripe, tasty and wholesome produce. We live in a culture that panders to our instant desires – serving up fast food in restaurants and fruits and vegetables that have been trucked or flown from distant places. There is no taste comparison between the perfect looking strawberry or tomato in the grocery store (likely out of season) and the ones you grow or buy at the local farmers market.
Through Harvest, I invite you to look at the abundance our local farmers produce year round in the Willamette Valley. We can celebrate the fruits of the earth and their labor, thank them, and support their farms.
In these images, I celebrate the miracle of life, the abundance of our farms, and the sumptuous foods we share. See you at the market!
Displayed at Don Dexter Gallery
Harvest, October-December 2018 (Q4)
Garden Graces, April–June 2017 (Q2)
Where do you find your inspiration?
Nature is my greatest inspiration, whether wild or cultivated. Gardeners, farmers, worms, pollinators and folks who passionately care about the earth teach, guide and inspire me.
Favorite thing to do in or around Eugene…
Walks along the Willamette River on the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Trail System are a joy all year long, rain or shine. Spring calls for strolls through Hendricks Park! Any waterfall in the region is worth the trip – from Sahalie Falls to the Sweet Creek Falls.
Quote that inspires your creativity…
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
Harvest by Robin Bachtler Cushman
October-December 2018 (Q2)
The abundant harvest of the Willamette Valley found in the farmers market.
Garden Graces by Robin Bachtler Cushman
April–June 2017 (Q2)
A meditation on the beauty and peace to be found in a garden.
Robin Bachtler Cushman is a fine art and horticulture photographer who works throughout the Pacific Northwest. She has been shooting since she was five-years-old and is happiest in a garden with her camera.
Her images and artist books are exhibited across the country and are held in private, corporate, hospital and university collections in the US, UK and China. She values sharing her images in venues where they may promote peace, healing and interest in nature.
Cushman’s garden and food images appear in many magazines and books, including Sonoma-Williams and Sunset Books. She has contributed to over 40 books, including her own Fresh from the Garden Cookbook with author Ann Lovejoy.
Cushman holds an MFA in photography from University of Oregon, where she has taught photography and visual literacy.