Sylvia Grace Borda: Farm Tableaux

Dimensional photography, Google Street View, 2013-2015

In the panorama photo series Farm Tableaux Finland, artist, Sylvia Grace Borda, aims to redefine contemporary art and the role of food production by creating unconventional portraits of modern day farmers and producers.  In this series the artist’s images of Finnish producers illustrate the on-going realities of work from field labour to food processing.  

In the development of Farm Tableaux Finland Sylvia invited participants, actual farmers and labourers, to stage real-life in situ activities for the lens. Unlike traditional portraits, participants stood motionless for periods of up to 40 minutes as they were captured by the Google enabled panosphere-cameras.  The artist’s online artworks become 360 degree staged dioramas or dimensional photographs that redefine the notion of a photograph as a single framed shot.  Sylvia has created her artworks so that audiences can explore the resulting tableaux in two ways - as narrative ‘stills’ exhibited as large digitally printed works entitled Mise en Scene, or as collective scenes comprising Farm Tableaux Finland in which audiences can explore the resulting tableaux as multi-point scenes in Google Street View.   Those viewers who explore online can wander in what appears to be a continuous and instantaneous timeframe exploring food production and navigating in and around the main tableaux scene and the portrait sitters themselves. 

The artist herself also plays a small part similar to the 16thc painter Bruegel (the Elder) who is known to paint himself into some of his narrative and rural settings.  Sylvia has discretely positioned herself in the periphery of the scenes, acting as witness to the unfolding tableaux and as a unique visual signature to the artworks. Sylvia’s groundbreaking series is a collaboration with Google Trusted Photographer, John M Lynch, and the outcome marks the first known and continuing series of artworks created specifically for Google Street View. 

Experience first-hand the Farm Tableaux Finland series online at:

Viskaalin Farm, Muhos, Oulu

Hannu Lahtela´s Reindeer Farm: Maltiolan Jaloste Oy