The Painted Desert series grew out of a collaboration with Vessel, an Arizona-based performance troupe. The project was commissioned by the Mesa Arts Center and is perhaps best described as a merging of photography, costume design and performance art.
We put a lot of planning and hard work into an initial photoshoot in the Painted Desert. But the real highlight of the project was presenting the work in front of a live audience—as we did at several venues in Arizona, including the Spark Festival in Mesa, the Public Art Program in Glendale, and the Phoenix Art Museum.
As a photographer, I had presented my images in a variety of formats and venues over the years—magazines, gallery shows, books, film, etc. But this was the first time I had used photography as part of an interactive experience. The photographs were projected on people and objects as part of the performance.
When we presented the show at the Mesa Arts Center, the entire complex became a moving art gallery of sorts, with images flowing across walls, ceilings, floors, and even people in the audience. As you can see in the photos below, the Vessel performers themselves became living screens for the projected images.
Vessel is the brainchild of Rachel Bowditch, a respected performance artist recently named one of today’s 100 top creatives by Origin Magazine. Rachel was a joy to collaborate with on the project. For more about her work, visit her website Vessel Project.