Gold Rush

2015

Gold Rush is a series of works taken around the area of the Gold Rush which sparked in early 1848, arguably one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century. As news spread of the discovery, thousands of prospective gold miners travelled by sea or over land to San Francisco and the surrounding area; by the end of 1849, the non-native population of the California territory was some 100,000. A total of $2 billion worth of precious metal was extracted from the area during the Gold Rush, which peaked in 1852.


I re-visited this area of America back in 2015, most of the land is now deserted, but I have attempted to recreate this atmosphere of chaos in my process. I have used many different materials to embellish the landscapes, including gold leaf, as reference to the subject matter. 

 

Continuing within the theme of morphed realities (seen throughout my art practice), the finished outcome showcases landscapes that appear to be seemingly dissolving into an unearthed state of time stood still. I was drawn to lots of questions when I was exploring and documenting this location; What will become of this place now? Can we bring new life to this desert? Or will it slowly fade away? Is it a good thing this landscape has been left behind? This is something I am trying to make the audience aware of in these images and is a reoccurring theme in my art process.