SOME SERIOUS BUSINESS: CHAMA RIVER RESIDENCY PROJECT
During a month-long residency, I built an ‘initiation hut,’ designed to be a site of daily reflection, transformation, and animus. The New Mexico desert, as a stage for a multitude of spiritual and experimental energies, seemed the ideal setting to undergo the hut’s construction. Beneath the parabola-shaped canopy, I modeled a series of small clay sculptures, invoking the utilitarian function of the hut as an artist studio.
Borrowing design elements from military and astronomical technology found in the area — particularly the Very Large Array — as well as camping equipment, the structure echoes the enduring occupation of igniting communion with — or dominance over — the natural world. Much like many of these structures, the hut’s stark white surfaces and prevalence of geometry contrast with its untamed desert surroundings.
Unlike its technological predecessors, the structure has been built just strong enough to support my weight, and the occasional desert winds, but not for longevity. At the conclusion of the open studio event, the structure will become fuel for a ceremonial fire, in accordance with the completion of the ritual and the residency.
Selection of 120mm photographs, October - November 2017