About the Artist
My interest in rock art began in Dr. Dean Brimhall’s apple orchard in Central Utah. While munching apples Brimhall told us about the ancient ones who farmed corn and lived in pit houses hundreds of years earlier. His stories ended in mystery. The Fremont people left red handprints on sandstone cliffs, then vanished.
Years later, as a documentary filmmaker, I filmed “The Rochester Panel,” a petroglyph dramatically situated high above the confluence of two streams. A Navaho elder told me the fertility theme of the Rochester site mirrored the confluence of the creeks, a sexual union, making the site a place of great energy and creativity.
For me, the Rochester Panel was a place of inspiration. The creators of the rock art worked with an enormous palette, which included the surface texture and color of the rock, the surrounding landscape and changing light. I wanted to photograph this expanded vision of ancient people.
I discovered the Hulcherama, a 360-degree medium format film camera and began the long process of learning to visualize 360-degree pictures. In the summer of 2003, I camped near The Great Hunt petroglyph in Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon to catch the first light of June solstice on the famous panel. Enormous energy trucks spewed plumes of chemical laden particles on the panel every two hours day and night. I soon realized that Utah’s finest art and earliest cultural heritage was at risk. I photographed “The Nine Mile Gallery “ to awaken the public to what was being destroyed. I submitted the collection of photographs to The National Trust for Historic Preservation who named Nine Mile Canyon one of America’s Eleven Most Endangered Sites. Unfortunately, the destruction of Nine Mile Canyon rock art continues.
“Utah’s Vanishing Rock Art” and “Visionscapes: The Vanishing Rock Art of the West” exhibits continue my efforts to reveal the stunning and unprotected rock art sites in the West.