Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Stranger No Longer | January 2020

Megan Evans had been planning her return to Boxo for quite some time before her January 2020 second residency. One thing she noted in early December was that she was wishing for an extreme weather event aka snow. Well, she got it and then some. Joshua Tree had a lot of snow over Christmas and by the time she arrived on December 29, the landscape was a pure white. We ventured out  to capture images of Megan in her Victorian era dress (a recreation of her great grandmother's sealskin outfit) examining the flora of the "virginal desert".

Megan came to continue her larger project with takes responsibility for her colonial past and explores issues of whiteness and privilege. She focused somewhat on the colonization of the landscape through the US Geological Survey and made a series of works exploring contour maps and the hubris of laying a grid across the varied topography of the region. Megan also continued her series of sculptures made from antique silver treasures found on ebay and the like. She bolts them together in unstable forms, the deformities of their original cultural context.

The photographic work continued with various explorations in the landscape, resulting and evocative images illustrating the clash of civilized woman and the wild environment that surrounded her. Megan also undertook a large embroidered text composed of an acknowledgment of land to the local Indigenous peoples. She went on a research visit to the Malki Musem on the Morongo Reservation and befriended one of the caretakers here. We were honored to have him attend Megan's Open House and even more honored that the embroidered piece was taken by him and installed in the Museum conference room!

The wild card work that Megan discovered here was a series of sculptures made from screen metal or "fly wire" as it is called in Australia. Megan made a large series of abstract forms and suspended them from fishing line so that they appeared to float in space. This work has continued back in Melbourne where she is currently fashioning social distancing headwear :)

Megan's Open House on January 25 was a wonderful event, well attended by a very engage crowd that kept a q&a session going for quite some time. This was the second time in six months that I found how hungry the community is for discussion of topics related to the history of colonization in this area and the ongoing issues surrounding Indigenous peoples.

Much gratitude to Megan for making this trip a second time and for her great work and engagement with local issues. Cheers!

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