The Making of Oasis
I had travelled to Death Valley National Park in 2011 to shoot some of the images in my series The Vanishing of Gaia. Since then, I knew that I wanted to come back to this magical place someday to shoot another project. In 2017, I created Oasis, a body of work speaking about love and romanticism. Continue reading about the creative process behind Oasis.
I take pride in the fact that my works is always well planned out. Before doing any shooting, I typically create concepts with clear themes and make sketches and mockups of what I want the images to look like. Thus, I usually plan my travels according to my concepts and ideas. Oasis was a case where things went a little differently.
I booked a trip to California with two of my friends who were a long-term couple. I had also ended a relationship just before the trip, which still had an impact on me emotionally. As we were traveling, in some our conversations, my friends and I were philosophizing about love and relationships. From this and all of my experiences and thought processes at the time, the concept for Oasis was born.
Above “Away She Flies”
The concept Development
I began to make connections between the things that I had been thinking about and the visuals around me. I saw that the desert holds many optical illusions, like landscapes that would look one way from far away would look completely different when we got closer. I was very much in love in this relationship, and a sort of “blindness” took over me where I couldn’t see anything that was negative about the relationship or the person I was with, until shortly before it fell apart. I connected this experience and the desert backgrounds, realizing that the desert is a metaphor for how things looked when we are “high on love”. More of the themes came to me this way, which you can read about in my artist statement.
It was strange to me when all of a sudden everything clicked and I realized I had all the tools that I needed to create this project in my hands. I had a car, a week in the desert, my models traveling with me. I had clear concept and story, when just a few days ago I didn’t know what I was going to do there. This kind of flow has happened to me before when I worked on other bodies of work, when all the pieces seem to all of a sudden fit together perfectly.
The experience of working on Oasis taught me that sometimes I had to let myself go and go out into the world and have experiences that will turn into art projects when they are ready.