This image is of Rien Silverstein and Karen Brisbane-Bullock at Orrvale taken by Tagen Baker on 12 August 2016 as part of The Invisible Farmer Project.

This particular image shows Karen Brisbane-Bullock (left) standing next to Rien Silverstein (right) in one of Rien's orchards in Orrvale.

Rien Silverstein and her husband Morris farm apples and pears on two orchards in Orrvale and Tatura, spread over a total of 78 hectares of land.

Karen Brisbane-Bullock grew up in a farming family on a dairy and sheep farm in Victoria. Later in life, she became heavily involved in managing and facilitating projects with Landcare and has been recently linked with investigating soil heath issues.

Rien and Karen both speak passionately about sustainability, land use and care, irrigation/water issues, and the importance of community within the farming industry.

The Invisible Farmer Project was the largest ever study of Australian women on the land, uncovering the histories and stories of Australian women in agriculture. It began as a pilot project (2015-2016) and evolved into a three year (2017-2020) nation-wide partnership between rural communities, academic, government and cultural organisations, funded by the Australian Research Council.

Description of Content

Two women standing next to each other in a bare orchard.

Physical Description

Digital colour photograph


As a visiting research associate for Museum Victoria, and a PhD student in Utah State University's Department of Environment and Society, Tagen Baker had the opportunity to explore the diverse landscape of Victoria and interview and photograph women farmers as part of The Invisible Farmer Project-to learn from them about their histories, responses to climate change, and how they adapted their agricultural practices to sustain themselves and their families. Tagen wanted to know how their experiences have been similar or different to women in her home state of Idaho, USA. How have women been key agents of change embedded in their environments? How do women farmers provide unique perspectives and contributions to the futures of agriculture and to their communities?

As part of her research process, Tagen asked several women farmers if she could photograph them with an item of value. This item opened up a unique opportunity to communicate and learn about the farmers' lives. The item chosen was not only symbolic as a physical item of value, tangible and necessary, but a portal into a storytelling journey, a symbol of their rich and unique life experiences.

More Information