The first time I drove up Sierrita Mountain Road to arrive at the Land, I felt I must be going to the nearest most wild place one could get to from Tucson.
The Land With No Name is a welcoming wild place, you feel it immediately. Kate and Ted personify it and amplify it in everything they do to nourish land and art, culture, and artists there. It is one of those very special places too that is a kind of permeable membrane between earth and human, where you suddenly remember things you had forgotten you knew about the earth, and she remembers you too.
During my first guided tour of the sculpture sanctuary there, I was most touched by a sculpture work I never saw, one that is no longer there, except in memory and in ways we don't normally measure. It existed through the lively descriptions of it by Kate and Ted as they visualized and shared how it moved and how it changed. What was important about the sculpture was the imprint and traces it left in space and time and on minds. What was important was how it had eroded, changed, and became part of something shared in the air we breathed and the sunlight we felt.
I thought about how I had been using pinhole can cameras to collect traces and imprints of everywhere I had been in the last few years. Cameras that recorded the passage of time through the trails of the sun, dotted with clouds, damp, frozen or baked with weather, capturing air, nibbled by raccoons, and eroded over weeks and months and even years. I thought about the traces and imprints I collected through the cyanotypes I had started doing everywhere I went as well. And how, in leaving the pinhole can cameras especially, I was leaving something I had to return for.
Cyanotype Photogram: Sectioned Desert Spoon, July 2021
Created at The Land With No Name Sanctuary, located on Tohono O’odham Ancestral Lands, Sonoran Desert, Arizona.