Useful Work: Photographs Of Hickory Nut Gap Farm by Ken Abbot
This beautifully produced 152 page book, Useful Work: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm, includes 84 full page color photographs of the house and grounds at the former Sherrill's Inn, including many interiors, portraits of members of the family and community, views of the gardens and surrounding landscape, farming at Flying Cloud Farm and Hickory Nut Gap Meats, and activities at Hickory Nut Gap Summer Camp. Also included in the book are historical essays by Rob Neufeld on the house (included on the National Register of Historic Places) and family, a preface by the photographer, and several archival photographs, as well as reproductions of the historical murals painted by Elizabeth McClure in the early 1900s, from the mural room of the house. The book was beautifully printed and bound in Italy, and designed by Nathan Moehlmann of Goosepen Studio & Press, Hickory, NC. Alex Harris, co-founder of the prestigious Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, described the project this way: Ken Abbott's photography and Hickory Nut Gap Farm is a marriage made in heaven, or about as close as we get to heaven here in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina. For almost a hundred years, one extended family has lived on and created a uniquely beautiful farm and community in this place. In Useful Work, Ken Abbott so thoroughly and beautifully depicts the surface and soul of this home and farm, that he reminds us how the best photographers can focus on something seemingly small, yet evoke our common humanity. This book represents an extraordinary achievement in life and in art. This project received support from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts.