Tucked away in the canyons of Utah lie some of the most elegant and enigmatic artworks in the Americas. The style is known as Barrier Canyon. It is believed that the artists were members of nomadic clans that traveled seasonally throughout the Colorado Plateau, perhaps as long as 7500 years ago. We know little about these Archaic peoples. We know nothing about what these extraordinary images meant to them. While some are badly worn and others have been "restored", some are eerily fresh, as though the artist finished up but a season or two ago.
What has made the strongest impression on me in my travels in the canyons is the individuality of each and every one of the characters that I have seen. I chose to make portraits of them, executed in a combination of palladium and gum. It is a slow and time-consuming method of printing, yielding one-of-a-kind prints. The process allows me to pay my respects to the antiquity and uniqueness of the art.
A word about locations. Sadly, there is a long and tragic history of vandalism and occasional outright theft of Native America rock art throughout the Southwest. Most of the work I have photographed to date is fairly easy to find through published guidebooks but others not so much. In the interest of preservation, suffice it to say that all of these works are found in Utah.
Every journey has its markers, waypoints that signify the twists and turns of each day's travels. These are my accumulated notes from the Pacific Coast.
In the Northwest, we have four distinct seasons, each with a particular rhythm and feel to it.
Speaker at Alt Photo Pacifica, September 2014, Gum over Palladium