The series began in 2004 on a break from college.  I went to school at the Rhode Island School of Design, but my home is in Kansas, so while home, I visited the family farm & used my 'pets' as inspiration.  It began with shooting images of my horse, dog, neighbor's sheep, etc.  From there I visited local farms & searched out the most colorful hides.  I continued to shoot the Cowscapes each time I returned to Kansas, building up a collection of hundreds of images.  Originally I was trying to abstract the ridges, lumps & clumps of fur that were quite thick during the winter months.  When I enlarged the images, they were often confused for hills on a landscape.  Once I'd found my niche I began searching for animals that had tones & textures that related to the prairies of the Midwest.  Bringing the images back to the East Coast was a way for me to bring back a piece of Kansas.  For those unfamiliar with the rolling (not flat!) hills of the midwest, it started a dialog about the characteristics of my home & the inaccurate generalizations many had.  For those who were familiar with farm life, it brought a nostalgic but different view of the beasts they knew so well.  

The Cowscapes have been exhibited across the US & won several major awards. 

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Pinterest Icon
  • Grey Flickr Icon

© 2017 by Rachael Sudlow

Stay Connected