I grew up with my extended family on a farm in suburban Long Island. Influenced by the back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s, my family chose to maintain an agricultural lifestyle while malls and supermarkets developed around us. We heated our house with wood, grew and canned our own food and bartered plants for everything from shoes to dentistry.
Inspired by my own experiences, in 2006 I began to photograph a subculture of people in the southeastern United States who had left mainstream society to return to the wilderness, often in response to environmental concerns and predictions of societal collapse. Most have chosen to live off-the-grid. They build their homes from local materials, obtain their water from nearby streams and hunt, gather or grow their own food. Many start fires with friction, tan animal hides for clothing and collect herbs for medicine.
I am drawn to my subjects’ desire for self-sufficiency and intrigued by the complexity of their relationship with the natural world.
Lucas Foglia (Dix Hills, NY) was born in 1983 and was raised on a small family farm in Huntington, Long Island. A graduate of Brown University, Foglia has exhibited nationally, most recently in Food for Thought at the Light Factory (Charlotte, NC) and has received grants or residencies from Light Work, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Rhode Island Foundation, Brown University and the Arpels Environmental Fund. His photographs are included in permanent collections including the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, the Newport Art Museum, Light Work, Sprint Systems of Photography, the Margulies Collection and the Starr Foundation.