Ancient Beings

Ancient Beings was a temporary installation at Peña Blanca cave created by Faith Purvey and Shaunna Foster for one night in 2016. A historic site for Mogollon culture and now a popular hiking and bouldering area within the OMDP National Monument, this cave is off the beaten path but one of the Monument’s great treasures. The artists set aluminum cutouts inside naturally-occurring alcoves, illuminated by battery LEDs, to enliven images of animals and petroglyph symbols found in and near the cave. Viewed at dusk and in the dark, a group of participants hiked a mile in each direction and viewed the installation by flashlight.

Ancient Beings is the second collaboration between Purvey and Foster. Their process includes hiking materials into wilderness spaces and practicing leave-no-trace ethics. Their work temporarily animates the landscape and is removed in reverence for nature and the National Monument.

Photographs by Yvette Lopez and Faith Purvey. Special thanks to Christy Keime.