Sometimes the desert can seem dry, desolate and lifeless. The sun beats down, summer comes early, and, even though it’s a “dry heat”, there is some kind of misery that characterizes the landscape, your landscape. You struggle not to take it personally.
Then it happens. You look again at the same landscape and see life.
People are doing things in the Antelope Valley. Interesting things. Art is happening.
Kevin Coffey is producing a blog of impressive photograpic material. The kind that makes you say right away that you’ll come back and see what’s next.
Noe Williams, a friend of Coffey, moves in a new direction too, posting candid photos of spaces that didn’t seem like they could be candid before got there.
I’m not saying anything that you didn’t know. People are doing work.
All I mean to say is that the work happens at the same time we do our work; the same time it begins to feel that we are the only ones producing…but, of course, not all of us feel this way.
Michael Jones is staying busy in Lancaster with Tonia Crews and others who make art a social thing, as well as a personal thing, and push each other both to be “out there” and to explore new modes of expression.
But this is the desert, a loner’s landscape, a haven of meditation, a place where the desire to separate is both intimate and general, to separate in such a way that all our experiences become personal by necessity. There is an emphasis in the nature of the place put upon starkness, as Mojave West photographers Alan Radecki and Rebecca Radecki show us. We see it also in the collaborative work of Jason Hughes (photographer) and Nicelle Davis (poet & instigator) here.
This seems like an attempt to journalize the AV’s artists, but that’s not the point here really. This is merely an attempt to make a point about the Antelope Valley and a point about isolation in the desert: Isolation, though part of the natural aesthetic is not a desolation. It’s an inspiration too, on the good days, when we see that work is being done.
I’d like to include more artists in this commentary, but many of those artists are already here on this blog in the side-bar: AJ Currado, Cervants, Darla Dear, El Javi, Edwin Vasquez, Larissa Nickel, Joan Fry, Steven Fiche, Todd Cooper (Coyote Studios) and the list goes on.
And there’s no need to tell you, or invite you, to be a part of it. You probably already are.
I just hope that next time I look around and don’t see anything popping up, any signs of life, that I’ll be reminded of this post and the people mentioned in it and look a little bit futher. That’s all. Just a note. Just something to pin to your day that says “you are here” and “here” isn’t nowhere.