Pine Flat
Published by Charta 2006
Available at Charta

In the film and photographic series Pine Flat constructed over a three year period, Sharon Lockhart addresses the experience of an American childhood, using the stunning landscape of America's Sierra Nevada Mountains to bring home the close relationships of children with their natural surroundings. Lockhart began by constructing a portrait studio in a small rural community, and extending an open invitation to local children, and then by immersing herself in their environment and noting the complexity of their interactions. Her highly descriptive, almost painterly portraits, taken over the course of several years, abjure narration for the pleasure of the gaze and the notion of temporality. The studio remains a constant, its black backdrop, cement floor and natural lighting; a theatrical setting that allows the children to develop a different kind of relationship to the camera. Those stills stand in stark contrast to the pictorialism of a series showing the community's majestic natural surroundings, and to the portraits on 16mm film that accompany them, which are both literally and figuratively moving.


Sharon Lockhart: Pine Flat
Published by Berlin: Revolver, 2006

Catalog of an exhibition held at Sala de Exposiciones Rekalde Erakustaretoa, Dec. 14, 2005-Feb. 12, 2006.


Sharon Lockhart, Pine Flat
By Howard Singerman
Published by Afterall Books, 2019
Part of the One Work book series

Sharon Lockhart’s Pine Flat (2005) foregrounds a small community of children living on a western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Produced with and alongside the community over several years, this complex work makes reference to the history of painting, photography and film to present distinct images of childhood.
Opening up the story of both the work and the community, Howard Singerman argues that Pine Flat employs the pastoral as a way of demonstrating and sustaining the children’s agency. The work, Singerman contends, offers a pace where the community holds the right to its images; a space where its interests are removed from adult narratives, fears, and desires. In this expansive study, we discovery the transitory moments where childhood might be imagined under an alternative order of power and possibility.