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Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries (3 Photos)

Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries (3 Photos)

All images © Mariana Cook

Mariana Cook’s new book Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries examines one of mankind’s earliest and most enduring methods of defining territories – the stone wall. Sculptural and practical, majestic and humble, the dry stone walls showcased in the book capture a fundamental relationship between human beings and the landscape. The book was conceived by Cook, the last protégé of Ansel Adams, at her home on Martha’s Vineyard on the day before Thanksgiving in 2002. After 56 cows strayed through a crumbling section of the stone wall she shares with her neighbor, Cook studied the tumbled wall and was struck by its beauty. With that inspiration, she spent eight years traveling to farms, towns, and temples in Peru, Great Britain, Ireland, the Mediterranean, New England, and Kentucky in pursuit of dry stone walls. The photographs portray the wall in landscape, the wall in abstract form, and the return of rocks to nature. Cook is fascinated with the juxtaposition of stones and geometric composition, as well as with the resonance among walls of different cultures. The walls were photographed by Cook between 2002 and 2010 and were built as early as 3600 B.C.

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Fine Art






  1. Great pictures, can’t wait to get the book. Rock walls have always fascinated me in my travels. It makes me think about societies that took all that time to build them. I personally couldn’t do it. I would get mesmorized by individual rocks and forget my original goal. Then my sheep or goats or cattle would escape and I would make those depending on me very angry. Hey, that sounds like me now. Looking at articles about rock walls instead of doing some needed daily chore.

  2. Ohhh, words can’t say how much I love these photos. Protege of Ansel Adams, for sure – I would have enjoyed just to be a fly on the wall of his darkroom. These pix are wonderful.

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