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Chet Pancake: Nature is Hungry

A person in a blue shirt walks in a lash grassy field.

Chet Pancake
Nature is Hungry, 2016
Films still
Image courtesy of the artist

Nature is Hungry followed two female characters as they processed competing positions on land ownership and conservation in the Appalachian region of West Virginia.

Nature is Hungry was Philadelphia-based artist and filmmaker Chet Pancake's first collaborative project with his brother Sam Pancake, a film and television actor in Los Angeles.

Chet and Sam united as filmmaker and actor, returning home to the region in which they were raised to confront their responsibilities as custodians of a family woodland acreage recently devastated by clear-felling. Sam wrestled with the cultural weight of his role as the eldest son of a rural family and processed it through two female personas based on West Virginian women from his life.

Nature is Hungry
examined how ecological trauma creates both internal family and community crisis. It considered the distance revealed within families and communities when those who leave return to address the legacy of those who stayed.

Nature is Hungry was an intensely personal extension of Pancake’s ongoing investigations into ecological trauma that began first with his award-winning documentary Mountaintop Removal & The Fight for Coalfield Justice, 2006 and continues with Bloodland a collection of work based in video and installation, of which Nature is Hungry is the second.