Using a visual medium to record something as intangible as faith, as subjective as spirituality, may seem like a paradox; however, it is a challenge that has allowed me to investigate boundaries of genre. By focusing primarily on the sites themselves - their delicate structures, ephemeral materials, and organic connection to the desert landscape - I hope to reveal elements of transcendence and devotion. I am most interested in images which push beyond their role as document; my decision not to include people in the religious landscape departs from a photojournalistic reading, thereby creating a direct and intimate experience between viewer and object. Because of their physical nature, the images dialogue with a history of land art and earthworks. This body of work made at holy sites in North West China in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has a direct connection to history and place. The Uyghurs are a Turkic Muslim "ethnic minority." Visitation to the tombs of the saints is historically a central aspect of Uyghur spiritual practice and deeply influenced by Sufi Mysticism.
Bachelor of Arts; Sarah Lawrence College, New York, USA