Endemic Treasures is a photo based art project that focuses on preventing the removal of Joshua trees for future construction of residential communities and businesses in the Mojave Desert. With the Joshua tree as my muse, issues of the ongoing climate crisis and the continual encroachment of humans for capitalistic gains into the Mojave landscape point to wider issues of urbanization, industrialization, and socio-economic disparities found within our society.
With permission from a construction site in 2015, I reclaimed organic material from a Joshua tree that was forcibly removed from its natural habitat, destined for refuse. Through years of trial and error, my process incorporates original techniques in the creation of genuine, handmade Joshua tree paper. Once created, I adhere photographically captured images of untouched Joshua trees and Joshua tree landscapes onto my paper through a lift transfer process.
Comparable to the uniqueness of each individual Joshua tree, each final object is a one of a kind work of art that is not only about the Mojave Desert, but essentially from the Mojave Desert, allowing for the beauty of both the material and the photograph to equally occupy the viewer's attention.
Upon completion of Endemic Treasures, all works will be donated to an organization that will further promote the importance of Joshua tree woodlands in the Mojave Desert and continue the conversations of equitable land use and species protection.