In Trail’s End, Julie Gautier-Downes has created a walk-in installation, in which she combines photographs that she has taken of the Mojave Desert with a living room that she has built in the gallery.
Upon entering the space, the viewer is immediately confronted with a view of a barren, desert landscape seemingly devoid of life. Once the land of the final Pioneer Act, which attracted hundreds of settlers looking to build new life in the freedom of the desert, the difficult environment and economy, challenged its settlers’ ability to survive. Most of the occupants fled in search of an easier way of life, leaving behind houses and trailers with artifacts of these failed settlements.
Though a construction, Trail’s End seeks to evoke the same feelings of loneliness and loss that the real abandoned homes have, leaving the audience wondering who could have inhabited the spaces and what circumstances drove them away.
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