Helen Jones graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art with a BFA in Photography. A Vermont native, she is now living in Portland, Oregon, where she runs Pine Island Press, an extra small press that specializes in photography and art publications, such as Incandescent, a color film zine. She photographs interiors and landscapes with a sense of stillness and mystery. Solitary figures pop up in some frames, but most often, what we see are traces of past inhabitants leaving the viewer to create their own narratives. She prefers old bulky cameras, still uses film, and never turns down a road trip.
Looking for land
‘Looking for land’ centers on Pony, a farmer on the hunt for land to work, live on, and one day own. His search for his forever farm has had him traversing the country – from Oregon to Maine, Pennsylvania, California, Utah, back to Oregon – living in a variety of situations – bus, cabin, van, condemned house, tent, trailer, barn. When I met him he had one dog (sugar) but along the way gained a horse, rabbits, chickens, goats, and sheep. Though he hasn’t found his forever land yet – he has struck out on his own (as many of us dream of doing) – and is raising his animals on leased land in southern Oregon. He calls his farm Sugarfield. It is a small operation and he does most everything by himself or with the occasional help of friends and neighbors.
Though Pony’s goals, style, and aesthetic are unique, his search for a permanent place to settle and the trial and error of making sure it’s the right place is relatable to many. Rural living, remoteness and community, small farming, and owning one’s own plot of earth are old struggles that continue to bring heartbreak and joy to those who pursue them.
To view more of Helen’s work please visit her website.