FEORM (which is Old English/Middle English for FARM)
paintings of 2012/13 are about our deeper roots and relationships with animals and
farms; a focus that was instigated by the proactive, local food movement within my
community. Maine has a history of dairy farming, so cows grazing in pastures are
common enough everywhere. That was a transition point from landscape to farm.
In 2012, I spent five months ( basically a growing season ) making frequent visits to a pig
farm near my home. Farm life became fascinating as both creature and farmer live and
work for the rest of us. Farmers go from sunup well into the evening, as long as there is
enough daylight. The rhythms on a farm are hour by hour, task by task, animal and
farmer in a marriage of short duration, one season. It’s sweaty, smelly and very physical
work - breeding, butchering, building. Planting and harvesting, under a hot sun, backbreaking.
So interesting to see from the sidelines.
Being around farms and centering my work around things rural is a daily reminder and
stabilizer. In a world that feels complicated and often insecure, a simple view of cows
waiting at the gate to come in for the evening milking, or nudging a hen off her nest to
claim an egg, somehow anchors one’s perspective of events in an direct, immediate
Kerstin Engman was born in New England, educated at the Maine College of Art, The
Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Pennsylvania. She has traveled
extensively throughout Europe and taught in the Hungarian Public Schools. In 1997, she
founded Project Kalocsa, a cultural exchange between Kalocsa, Hungary and her
hometown of Belfast, Maine.
Engman has lectured and taught at various colleges throughout the Northeast. She lives
in midcoast Maine and teaches in the Art Department at the University of Maine in