Interviews are funny things…they really do make you pause to consider what you take for granted and to be self evident. I am humbled by the attention.
You can check out the Trifecta Editions interview with me in which I field questions about my creative work, process, background and even my take on art and economics.
Thank you friends and family, new and old, for all the support and helping spreading the word on my latest creative endeavor…
David Buckley Borden is a graduate of the landscape architecture masters program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Until recently, he worked as a designer within the Urban Studio at Sasaki Associates and now works at Ground Inc, a boutique landscape architecture firm known for its artful landscapes. David is a landscape designer and artist, and recently worked with us to create a print and postcard pack.
How does your landscape architecture practice influence your art?
Most of the ideas behind my art stem from my landscape architecture practice. This includes the underlying ideas and concepts but also the drawing techniques. If landscape architecture is my work, art is my play and I often play by experimenting with landscape drawing conventions: the scaled map, contour lines, cross section, offsets, line weights, annotation, etc. More importantly, the artwork is a creative exploration of landscape architecture related interests: landscape history, ecology, geology, land use and just about anything related to “the great outdoors.”
Tell me about your recent artwork.
Some say I’m obsessed with New England…and its true! I love exploring North American landscapes, especially New England and Eastern Canada. Sure, I enjoy a road trip and hiking through the woods, but most of my explorations are on paper—in drawings I make in my Cambridge studio. And, many of these creative explorations start with books. I rely on an ever growing list of authors who write on the topic of landscape from a variety of perspectives: Howard Mansfield, John Stilgoe, Richard Forman, Peter Del Tredici, J.B. Jackson, and of course Eric Sloane. It’s actually shameful that I don’t spend more time outdoors, but I am working on that…
And your maps?
While in graduate school I was drilled with “rigorous map making.” The rigor almost killed maps for me but common sense and creativity prevailed. I now enjoy exploring and expressing ideas through making maps. In particular, what I call “NTS” (not-to-scale) mapping. These maps are for exploring places…but not in the spatial sense—more along the lines of cultural landscaping, the meaning of place, and regional identity, specifically the identity of New England. When asked where I’m from, I sometimes respond that I’m from the state of New England. New England is my home range and my favorite map-making muse.
Tell me about Fort Buckley.
Fort Buckley, also known as Fort Chauncy, is what I jokingly call my live/work space. My wife and I live in an apartment on Chauncy Street in Cambridge where I have a small studio space. I also use the apartment as a place to display and sell my artwork. So, Fort Buckley is one part studio space, one part DIY gallery, one part creative cocoon, but all parts home. ‘Fort Buckley’ has also developed into my creative battle cry. I dig all sorts of creative ditches for other folks, but the Fort is really the space where I pursue my own creative interests…it’s a fort of creative self-indulgence.
As someone with both business and design experience, you have a unique background …what’s your take on the business of art?
I’m a big believer in the economics of sustainability. Sustaining art, like anything, requires resources. There’s time and money out there, you just need to develop the networks and the infrastructure to find and capture it. I am a believer in the practice of being a “working artist.” It’s not easy, but I love the whole experience of art: creating it, discussing it, sharing it and even selling it. Art and craftsmanship have some unique economics as well. For example, I am a big fan of giving art as gifts. When you purchase art as a gift for someone, you are really giving two gifts with your purchase. First, you are gifting the piece of art to the recipient, but you are also giving the gift of financial support to the artist.
Tell me about your new prints available from Trifecta Editions.
The print, titled “Masshole Classic” stems from a long running drawing series in which I play with the derogative expression of “Masshole” and a variety of Massachusetts’ soil horizons, both real and fictitious. This print features a generalized Cape Cod soil profile that includes almost nothing but sand and rock. The original sketch can be found in my notebook for a soils class with Peter Del Tredici, but over the past couple of years it’s developed into a series of drawings. Now, thanks to Trifecta Editions, it’s a limited-edition print.