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Dinosaur Dust

 

Made between 2014-19 over several trips through the Mojave Desert in California. Subjects become collaborators in this open-ended narrative, both experienced and directed, telling stories of life lived with a heightened sense of mortality and longing in this isolated landscape. The work explores encounters between people and nature, playing with light, impermanence and the faculties of seeing.

 

Deserts stand as a monumental symbol of emptiness, a seemingly infinite landscape that serves as a powerful incarnation of the sublime. But travel through the boulders and dunes, the washes and the canyons of the Mojave and the image of virgin territory is revealed as a mirage. Just beneath the surface, the sounds and traces of all kinds of activities, experiments, myths and utopias can be heard, tales of exile and promise, temptation and death.

 

These desert communities offer the opportunity to begin again, providing a blank slate of sorts for people attracted to this fragile environment, to make a new life in a ruthless clime that is nowhere near as empty as it looks. Many women are drawn to the desert, often living alone, building new homes and embracing this formidable wild life. Submit to the great meteorological forces and it’s a reminder of how it feels to be alive, drawn to this edge, like someone experiencing vertigo, with an inexplicable urge to jump into the abyss.

 

Now available as a book published by Another Place Press.

https://anotherplacepress.bigcartel.com/product/zoe-childerley-dinosaur-dust

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