Presence (Jamestown) was a temporary public outdoor art installation on the grounds of the Jamestown Museum in Jamestown, Rhode Island, from June 27 - October 31, 2020. The work was selected by New York-based curator Anne Strauss and the Jamestown Art Center.
In collaboration with the Jamestown Historical Society, Farnell selected photographs from the town archive. Coupled with her own photographs and using a methodology of digitally manipulated montage, this imagery is the basis for a series of fabric banners installed alongside the eastern facade of the Jamestown Museum. Farnell draws on past functions of the building as a one-room schoolhouse, and later as the town library as inspiration for the installation.
In the process of selecting the photographs and creating the montages, an impression emerged of Jamestown as a restorative, spiritual, and abundant place. To emphasize this concept, Farnell decided to use the format of a summer day, from sunrise to sunset, and several of the activities to be pursued - sailing at the mouth of the bay, courting your sweetheart amongst the wildflowers, surfcasting at Beavertail, walking in a farm meadow. These scenes are tethered to the grounds of Jamestown Museum, a building at the village crossroads that was once a one-room schoolhouse and then, the town library. Today the Museum continues to be a place of curiosity, memory, and intellectual sustenance .