This time last year, Mr. Forager and I were in a very different place. For six months, we traded our beloved Northwest for the California high desert. Joshua Tree, California, to be exact. And although we ultimately decided desert life wasn’t for us, we nonetheless felt the beauty and magic to be found there. In his Lucid Stead installation project, Indio, CA artist Phillip K Smith transforms a 70 year old desert homestead into a miraculous mirage.
The desert, with its vast expanses, can be a disorienting, isolating place, which always made me wonder– what was it that made first settlers decide to stop and try to make a life from such an unforgiving landscape? Perhaps it was the intense light and the shadows it creates or the endless sky with its countless stars?
In Lucid Stead ( sorry, now closed to the public ), Smith gilds this desert shack in mirrors, reflecting the sandy surrounds and creating an every changing spectral form on the landscape. At night, the mirrors give way to darkness, colored LED lights lending an alien air.
To see more of Phillip K Smith‘s work, please visit his website. If you’re in Southern California, you can see an exhibition of Smith’s latest works at Royale Projects in Palm Desert.
All images are via the Royale Projects website.