Artwork > Attempts at Desert Survival

As a newcomer to the Southwest desert I was unaware that certain procedures and skills were required of the residents in this climate. My midwestern knowledge of atmospheric conditions and equipment for survival where not practical for desert conditions. I created a series of survival experiments to learn how to endure this place; from constructing survival tools and sampling found materials to examining safety precautions. Several experiments were successful, though most proved ineffective in the dessert climate, resulting in heat stroke, paranoia, and even, hallucination. My graphite drawings and cement sculptures cast a light on my personal encounters with dessert survival. David Alloway’s book on desert survival was later used to confirm my assumptions about the dessert. Excerpts from Alloway’s writing serve as the titles for these works.

Could have been avoided with preparation.
graphite pencil on paper
60 x 40 inches
2018
Building a survival kit is your best asset in an an emergency.
graphite pencil on paper
44 x 30.5 inches
2018
Panic can induce a feeling of hopelessness.
graphite pencil on paper
36 x 49 inches
2018

Plan ways to attract the attention of search and rescue teams.
graphite pencil on paper
34 x 49 inches
2018
Be prepared to adapt and improvise.
graphite pencil on paper
30 x 22 inches
2018
In the worst case, become nocturnal.
graphite pencil on paper
34 x 49 inches
2018
Her ability for rational thinking greatly diminished.
graphite pencil on paper
43.25 x 29.5 inches
2018
Then She Knew
graphite pencil on paper
14 x 11 inches
2017
Attempt to ease the discomfort of overheating.
gypsum cement and wood
5 x 2 x 1 inches
2018
Attempt to ease the discomfort of overheating. (detail)
gypsum cement and wood
5 x 2 x 1 inches (each)
2018
Don't get burned.
gypsum cement
7.5 x 13.5 x 1.5 inches
2018
Don't get burned.
gypsum cement
7.5 x 13.5 x 1.5 inches
2018
Contrary to some sources, not all cactus flesh is edible.
gypsum cement
8.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
2018
Contrary to some sources, not all cactus flesh is edible.
gypsum cement
8.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
2018