Terrestra grew from a deep contemplation of the sea and its perpetual movement, offering me a greater understanding of the desert. Holding a rock in my hands, a prehistoric marine animal embedded within its structure, I suddenly recognized the desert landscape as the historical remnant of a once-filled seabed. The flow and movement of water and land is a geologically permanent condition. And it is the land itself that manifests this passage of time.
Once I could see the story of stone through this geologic lens, my perceptions of the desert itself shifted. I no longer perceived only the surface appearance of expansive space, which often characterizes these regions, but also the silent ledger of time passage. The slightest crease in a rock belies thousands of years of water flow; more dramatic folds may represent hundreds of thousands of years of water movement. A swath of land uplifted at a sharp angle transports the imagination back tens of millions of years, to a milieu that predates human existence. The past still resides here; I can touch it with my hand. Investigating these realms with my camera, I am reminded of the infinite worlds residing within the human body, from organs to cells to atoms, as well as the vast scope of the cosmos. The images in Terrestra lay bare the elemental structure of the earth in ways that recall the human body, while simultaneously evoking sensations of impermanence and constant flux. There is a subtle tension between what is present, and what cannot be seen or touched. Evocations of painting and sculpture expand the photograph to brush against the unknown, and dance with the mysterious.