“Bare Handed” by Photographer Holly Lynton

Holly Lynton has been photographing rural communities in the United States for the past fifteen years. Exploring the intersection of faith, labor, history, and the land, her research-based practice yields bodies of work that capture contemporary rituals and traditions rooted in history, some of which are at risk of disappearing from the cultural landscape. Made over the course of twelve years, “Bare Handed” (L’Artiere Edizioni, 2022), is a lyrical portrait of labor, spirituality, and the relationship of those practices to the history of the land.

A year after starting this body of work, Lynton moved from New York City to rural New England, reaffirming her personal interest in living sustainably and her desire to continue telling stories about life in rural communities. “These gestural portraits emphasize the meditative aspects of the practiced movements of people who respect the land, gaining sustenance but leaving little mark,” she explains. “The photographs have enabled me to highlight a human need for unmediated experiences with the natural world and celebrate people who honor the land through their dedicated stewardship.”

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