The JoAnn Verburg exhibition is the
culmination of a four-year project in Italy-photographing
the olive orchards and sacred trees of Spoleto, revealing
her profound interest in the reciprocity between humans
and nature. The artist has made annual visits to
Spoleto since 1984 and recently purchased
a home there with her husband, poet Jim Moore.
The design of the exhibition and its accompanying
materials speak to the mystery of sacred landscape
and the complex dynamic of living cycles, agriculture,
and commerce. Its arrangement reflects a sensitivity
to the architecture, the scale of the viewer, and
the relationship between implied and actual time-issues
more often linked to installation art, architecture,
or theater, than to conventional photography. Verburg
acknowledged the olive tree as a powerful metaphor
for exchange, a living form essential to Italian culture.
She made a gift of these works in her presentation
of living cultural icons that do much to stimulate
our own wonder and questions about indigenous relationships
with landscapes and what we consider sacred in nature.