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 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 the paper through a lift transfer process.
Similar to the uniqueness of individual Joshua trees, each final object is a one of a kind work of art that is not only of the Mojave Desert, but essentially from it, allowing both the beauty of the material and the photograph to occupy the viewers attention equally. Upon completion of this project, 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.