Nov 23, 2012 • By

A landscape made of land

You don’t have to be schooled in art to identify landscapes. Hills, mountains, streams and lakes typically give them away.

There’s a landscape here at our headquarters, however, that is unlike any other in General Mills’ collection of art.

A piece called “Jocotan Ledger” by Michelle Stuart is actually made out of land.

“It’s a piece I really like because it really challenges our perceptions about, in this case, landscape,” says Don McNeil, the former full-time art curator at General Mills.

The piece sort of resembles a stone tablet, but it’s really paper mounted on canvas. Stewart used her surroundings, whatever she could muster up, to add color and texture.

“It’s just soil. It’s just what she finds and grinds and rubs into the paper. The indentations are actually from rocks and things she’s pounded. So it’s literally an impression of what she finds on the site,” Don explains.

In this video interview, Don expands on Stewart’s process and her view of landscape art.

There’s a space at our headquarters that Don occasionally turns into a small art gallery. He brings works together and displays them in kind of a context. Jocotan Ledger has been included in an exhibition of landscapes from the company’s art collection.

Don is drawn to the piece not only because it challenges perceptions, but also because of its beauty.

“I find that it has under different kinds of light a very beautiful color to it. I just find it as an object very beautiful, a very subtle kind of shape.”

Editor’s note: We highlighted some of Don’s favorite pieces in the company’s art collection in a series. This was the first post in that series. This was the third post in that series, here’s the first and second and final post.

Don talked about the purpose and function of art at General Mills in this post. And, we featured five of the outdoor art pieces on the General Mills campus back in July, beginning with this post.