September 9, 2015


By Orianna Pavlik
San Rafael Swell
August 27, 2015

Anticipating our first trip of the semester, many of our conversations revolved around the concept of place. What does place mean, and how does a place come to have meaning?

At San Rafael Swell, Utah we settled into a quiet campsite nestled in the valley of surrounding mountains. Under a group of cottonwoods we set up the camp tent, and from there individual tents were spread out along the river.

I set up tent behind the main camp tent, and on one occasion managed to sleep through breakfast. On our first day our ventured into the extreme desert heat to explore the valleys branching out beyond our site.

The sun was strong, bringing temperatures up to nearly 105 degrees Fahrenheit. We reconvened at camp at our scheduled 7pm dinner and enjoyed our fifth meal together.

The following day, the valley was covered by rain clouds, and many of us spent the day lingering around camp. I spent the day documenting the spaces people had occupied, and left. After documenting stills of the objects we’d left strewn around camp, the next day I decided to photograph each of us with our tents.

These images are meant to capture the way we occupy space, one that once was new, and the melancholy of leaving what we begin to call home.

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