Farmer Palette, Yuma, CO, 2014
Shot from above, Evan Anderman’s aerial photographs capture the vastness of the plains, interplaying the landscape’s aesthetic with evidence of humanity’s impact on this sparsely inhabited land. Anderman’s photographs are at once stark and complex. The work encourages viewers to question how our choices intertwine with the unappreciated beauty and integrity of lands that are often overlooked.
Anderman has chosen to concentrate on photographing Colorado’s Eastern Plains since their subtle beauty demonstrates global issues on a local scale. It is a sparsely populated region subject to a diverse mix of land use. A large part is given over to raising crops or grazing cattle, which if not carefully managed, can decimate the land. Beyond that, the energy business, which until recently was a small presence in the area, has been expanding rapidly, encroaching on or even overlaying the agricultural spaces. It is still unclear if they can co-exist and how the changing dynamics will impact the land.
Anderman challenges our understanding of the relationship between human development and the natural world by documenting the way that we use the land. As a geologist, when he flies over the high plains of eastern Colorado, he looks at the many, overlapping layers and how the land has been modified by a combination of processes, both natural and manmade. The lowest, the land itself has been created over millions of years and forms the foundation. Draped on top of that, mankind has imposed itself in various ways with activities that are collectively called “progress.” While his main interest is the subtle beauty of the landscape itself, he also likes to tease out what man has done with that land, and make the viewer wonder what is going on and why.