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"This image was captured in central Maine at the Common Ground Fair, where many of the families I have been following gather every year to sell their organic produce and hand-made goods. With many of the families living miles from their nearest neighbor (including the Hansons, who have a cabin in the forest land close to the Canadian border), the fair is one of the few communal events uniting the Maine off-gridders. This tent, like so many of the temporary and permanent structures I've photographed, is completely idiosyncratic and reveals the character of the people who constructed it." —Keliy Anderson-Staley

This limited-edition photograph by Keliy Anderson-Staley, from her series Off the Grid, evokes a sort of survivalist Dada—part log cabin and part Merzbau—and is testament to the lives and values of the people who built it. 

Rooted in personal experience, these photographs are part of an ongoing project documenting the lives of a number of families who have—for political, economic, religious, or environmental reasons—chosen to make their homes in the Maine woods. Blending a documentary approach with a topographic style, architectural interiors and exteriors accompany nuanced portraits to provide a fresh look at a lifestyle that is as progressive as it is atavistic.


Keliy Anderson-Staley (born in Massachusetts, 1977) received an MFA from Hunter College in New York in 2006. Anderson-Staley was awarded the New York Foundation for the Arts Photography Fellowship in 2008. She currently resides in Astoria, New York. 

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