HIDDEN LANDSCAPES OF THE AMERICAN WEST
In 2018, we headed, like many do, to see the National Parks of Utah, USA. We’d seen pictures for years that intrigued and mystified us, and we couldn’t wait to visit. When we arrived, we quickly made friends with a couple who’d lived in the area for a long time. Armed with ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles) and an intense knowledge of the Southern Utah backcountry, we lapped up tales of landscapes so isolated that getting lost could result in death. Our plans for National Parks, which were crowded, gave way to visions of an expanse so vast and unknown to many. This would form the fascination of two key trips in 2018 and most recently May 2019 to unearth, celebrate and bring light to some truly inhospitable, eerie, fantastical and mesmerizing landscapes. We went deep into the desert on ATV’s to hike further and deeper into complete, unsupported wilderness.
Reached by a unique network of deep sand roads, sand drifts, intense ‘route-finding’ backcountry hiking and a lot of local knowledge (and a lot of the routes into places kept a secret by locals), some of the landscapes we have photographed in the project so far will very likely see only a tiny number of visitors a year. Moments passed when thoughts of being the first people to see such a view for weeks on end came to mind. From Martian landscapes to unbelievable shapes, colours and formations; we were truly mesmerized by what we saw. Many of the places in these hard to access environments have names only really known by locals, and you’ll often find a lack of information online. With minimal trails and a lot of effort to get to, it’s not hard to see why. However, much of the areas that we’ve photographed so far are under threat from being developed or protected areas made smaller. Whilst conservationists work hard to stop that from happening, the majority of people do not even know that this truly magical, vast and expansive landscape even exists. With minimal trails and a lot of effort to get to, it’s not hard to see why.
The project so far celebrates an area that is seldom seen amongst the popularity of the National Parks, but should be protected, purely for the fact that it is there.
In November 2019, we’ll be launching the project so far at the Kendal Mountain Festival, United Kingdom.
We are currently inviting funders who’d like to work on the project with us to its completion and in order for us to embark on further expeditions, deeper and deeper into this unkept, beautiful wilderness.
Our open edition prints of the project so far are available for sale – please email us for sales.