Deborah Oropallo

Region: Pacific Coast

Farm animals are intelligent, sentient beings. As animals living in herds, they abide by moral codes. With a majesty and grace that belie what they go through, they seem to represent the possibility of hope, forgiveness, resilience, and an extraordinary ability to overcome.

I have found that there is something primal in living in close proximity to animals. My daily clock is measured by their sounds . . . triggered by their biological rhythms of parenting, sleep, hunger, or sexual drive. They put you in touch with a cyclical clock ruled by nature, which has given me a deeper emotional connection to them.

My process combines photography, computer, printer, and airbrush. The digital process of removing spots from a herd of Holsteins has left openings, or cavities, which perhaps echoes the physical extraction of meat or milk. We are, for the most part, comfortably removed from this experience of nurturing and harvesting, which can be powerful, dark, and beautiful. The work prompts observation of this unceasing and basic need of human existence.