Granite quarries of Cape Ann are visual evidence of a once vital industry that employed hundreds and produced the granite building blocks of some of the nation’s most iconic buildings. This abandoned industry has left scars on the landscape: deep water-filled quarries, rusting machinery and tools, and the hand-hewn marks of laborers over the century.
The derricks, steel cables, drills, and tools at Johnsons Quarry are relics of excavations begun over 100 years ago. Recently, the grandson of the former quarry owner has decided to breathe new life into this site, revitalizing contracts with local stone-cutters. Newly cut stone, hand-hewn as in time past with drills and wedges, lies on top of massive granite blocks quarried decades ago.
I am drawn to the beauty and scale of the elemental landscape as a backdrop for the remnants of an industry unique to this place. By focusing on the artifacts, tools and hand-cut marks, this project honors the legacy of Johnsons Quarry stone workers both past and present.
Barbara Dowd’s photographs communicate the beauty and pleasure she experiences in travel and exploration of changing natural and human landscapes. Her current photographic work reflects her interest in capturing the visual remains of once-vibrant industries and cultures.
Her food and environmental photographs are featured in The Berkshires Cookbook, published by Globe Pequot Press.
A former video producer, trainer, and non-profit executive, Dowd lives in Newburyport, MA. She exhibits at the Newburyport Art Association and the Parker River Photographic Society.
Contact Barbara Dowd