Into the Abyss

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Into the Abyss
45 in
54 in
(114 cm x 137 cm)
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I photographed these sandstone etchings on the border of Utah and Arizona in the winter of 2009 under harsh midday light that nicely exposes the originally horizontal ridges. Over the eons, wind-driven erosion etched these grooves in ancient sand dunes, producing sensual curves as of a furrowed field plowed by an errant tractor. I extracted selected etchings from many photographs and joined them employing rotations and partially broken mirror symmetries that defamiliarize the natural landscape yet paradoxically bring out their natural curvilinear essence. I strove for a creative tension between the scenic and the representational on the one hand and the geometric and abstract on the other. The effect, I hope, represents the inner enchantment of the trekker when she first encounters this magnificent area of nature's terrible beauty.
Photographs, linen-cotton canvas, rayon quilting thread, cotton batting, cotton batik fabric for the backing.
Personal photographs are extracted, manipulated and pieced into a collage on the computer, then professionally printed onto fabric. Machine quilting adds to the texture.