September 17, 2016

Water dreams on Muley

Muley Point, UT
September 8, 2016
Jeanette Hart-Mann

Muley Point is located just north of the San Juan River, high above on Cedar Mesa. A seemingly sparse, dry, and slow place with rolling sandstone dunes and tinajas filled with the last waters of prehistoric life.

Standing on the rim is like being on the edge of the world. A 1200’ drop with creation grasping the rock face and chinks through root, trunk, and stem. This is the desert rat’s dream, dry, vacant, lost, and yet filled with a sense of time and place like no other.

I will admit that Muley Point is one of my favorite places on earth. The first time I traveled here was with John Wenger during his summer Wilderness Studio in 1999? This was a moment when my deeply committed arts practice was ignited and willed beyond the human and beyond the artifice of an anthropocentric desire. I am grateful for Wenger. But even more important to me are the rocks, grit, sun, gnarly plants, and critters to be found here.

I pay homage to what most would consider the least “glorious” view of Muley: a series of solitary Cottonwood trees growing here for who knows how long. Not trees but true scrub. Multi-trunked and year after year growing without growing an inch. How did you get here? How do you survive? What can you teach about nurturing roots in the creative?

Many projects to share from Muley including the ongoing grass, root, soil, water work which has no name at this time. I have been archiving grasses at each location and thinking about their plant matter mind in soil and water. Also Henel and I have been projecting Sunrise and Sunset images onto geologic, ecologic, and architectural surfaces. Watching and documenting water images from site to site. Nothing to show except a couple stills and one mistaken photograph of video from Rio Grande Headwaters playing on slick stone Muley rocks. Post production editing/imaging coming soon. Stills from this experimental work here.... and some completely wonderful mistakes. Artists out of control.

Between Cedar and Muley Point, on the edge
Cottonwood and Salt Cedar
Visiting artist Joerael Elliot evening presentation on Graffiti
Cliff dwellings
Basecamp with Hollis and Hamshya cookin' it up
Visiting artist Joerael Elliot taggin the tarp
Packing up to head to our next site

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