I have lived in Las Vegas for over twenty years, most of it spent in my current home, which borders the Las Vegas Wash, slightly north of the Clark County Wetlands Park. The Wash is the Las Vegas Valley’s urban river system, fed by stormwater, reclaimed water, urban runoff, and various other sources that pass through this natural filter on the way to Lake Mead. As such, the Wash is also home to a variety of bird and animal species, many of which I see and hear over my back wall throughout the day and night.
For this project, I set up multiple night vision trail cameras in the Wash, down amongst the brush, strapped to trees, and enshrined by rocks. Over the last few months, the cameras have captured thousands of images, mostly of the wind blowing a tree branch around - but sometimes, there would be a shadowy movement across some of the frames, or a flash of white eyes in the blurry foliage. I can see the captured images on my phone very soon after they occur, so it was always a joy to get a notification telling me there was a new image to view. What was captured was the daily movements of coyotes, rats sneaking around as soon as the sun went down, tons of rabbits, and families of raccoons. Common animals just living their lives over my wall. In early September of 2023, heavy rain hit Vegas, and a rapid flash flood ripped through the Wash – I lost two cameras that day. All parts of the cycle.
The artwork I created is based on and made from these captured images, and other images I snapped after the flood. I use a phototransfer technique to affix the printed digital photos to panels or other surfaces. As part of this process, I scrub away the white pulp of the paper leaving the image somewhat translucent. The pieces are collaged together using various scraps of wood I’ve amassed over the years. Much like the Wash itself, the artwork is made of built-up layers and accumulated detritus, with pops of color and hints of life.
“This program/project was supported, in part, by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the state of Nevada.” -- Nevada Arts Council | (nvartscouncil.org)
Thanks to the Lost City Museum for hosting my exhibit:
Home | Lost City Museum
Individual Artworks - all 25.5"x25.5"x3" // Mixed Media // 2023