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Shed on Passive Sands
Photographs, Archival Pigment Prints, 24″x32″, 2018
Shed on Passive Sands (2018), is a weave of historical threads that creates a fabric of the place. These histories, spanning over 12,000 years, are comprised of the Dunes of the Chumash, a people nearly erased by the Spanish Missionaries; the Dunes of Cecil B. DeMille’s ancient Egyptian The Ten Commandments movie set; the Dunes of the Dunites, the artists, poets, nudists, and mystics living in the Dunes during the depression era; the Dunes of photographers Edward Weston and Ansel Adams’ sensual perfection; and the Dunes of the current day Dunites – the ATV riders who tear through the endangered plant species and pollute the air.
The seemingly empty expanse of sand of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes has been a fertile tabula rasa for each successive cultural engagement. Today it has become a political and environmental battleground. The 18-mile coastal Dunes complex north of Santa Barbara, CA allows driving cars and off-road vehicles on the beach and the Dunes in the approximately 5-mile area owned by State Parks. The current 8-year war is between the multi-million dollar ATV industry and those residents in the adjacent communities whose health has been compromised due to the dust the ATVs create.
While the white dunes often appear as a blank, shifting landscape, through media and image, this project aims to pull up a history from beneath the surface to populate the Dune site with a more profound sense of place and meaning. This specific place is also representative of the larger current climate in the United States, the clashing of environmental conservation and public health with economic interest, and a document of the impact of the social landscape on yet another unique physical landscape and population of indigenous people.
Recent exhibitions including images from this series:
Griffin Museum of Photography, Boston, MA
Gallery NAGA, Boston, MA
University Art Gallery, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA