The Wild West Series, 2021
Lake City, Creede, Colorado
Edition Size: 20
48 x 53 inches
67 x 74 inches
Commodore Mine, Colorado, USA - 2021
This abandoned silver mine, 11,000 feet up a gorge near the town of Creede in Colorado, grabbed my attention as soon as I set eyes on the location. It played to the layered narratives that I often employ, with the towering mountain in the distance and the almost perfectly intact 1890 mine shaft in front. If I could configure a strong enough foreground, there was certainly a frame to be had. Mondrian taught us about the power of blending primary, secondary and tertiary and I felt it could be applied here. The idea was to style the shoot in sympathy with the peak of Creede’s mining production in 1893 when over 15,000 people lived in the area. With the help of the local theatre group and extras from all over the county, we managed to have 100 or so dressed miners on set at 6am one freezing March morning.
It’s not easy working with so many individuals on set and I steadily narrowed down the lead characters. I knew I had a superstar up the hill in Cara Delevingne and if she is to be joined in any picture by others, their faces have to be strong.
Creede would have been a tough place in 1893, work was arduous and hours were long. This was no place for the frail or the precious and Cara and the boys captured the mood just right. Every job involves some sacrifice, but perhaps working in Creede in the winter at that altitude, set a bar that offers great perspective in today’s world.