Introduction to the evolution of my work


Big Morongo Canyon

Big Morongo Canyon

So much has happened since I began this blog I have decided to write a new introduction. This is where my work is now and what I’m looking forward to.

Hilary Sloane – Documentary and Fine Art Artist and Writer

I am five years new to journalism, having been a producer for print, film and commercials for over 35 years. That position taught me a great deal about schedules, organization, deadlines, communication and of course, visual storytelling.

Five years ago, I moved out of Los Angeles, to Joshua Tree where I currently freelance as a journalist and documentary and fine art photographer as well as working on a mixed-media projects.

I am a member of Journalism And Woman Symposium (JAWS) and the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ). I’m a stringer for the Hi-Desert Star and the San Bernardino Arts Connection and recently co-authored a piece for Palm Springs Life on Modernism Week.

This year, I added audio to my arsenal of skills and finished a story on Art as a means of healing. The working title is “Hip Hop speaks many languages.” The link on Soundcloud is:

My logo and motto, Take heART is also how I live my life. It is about art, but more importantly, it’s about living heart-focused and creatively. The deeper I get into writing and photography the more it leads me to stories that go to the heart of what it means to be human.

The human condition is richly complex and complicated. Every topic has several stories. We all have the ability to do good and also to do things that don’t end up well. Taking sides is a difficult position because it can be rigid and inflexible. It can also be blinding.

Moving to the Mojave Desert changed my life. For the first time, I got to experience vast open spaces and have begun to appreciate the beauty of the desert. I search out people and industries who use these lands. There are farmers, ranchers, hikers, recreational vehicle enthusiasts, environmentalists, animals lovers, biologists, historians; the list goes on. Everyone has their story to tell.

After writing about the Mojave Desert Land Trust and exploring land conservation issues, I became very interested in the subject of land conservation and land use. I decided to expand my research to include everything about the subject and focus on the American West. I look for stories. I look for people with solutions and passions; I want to discover this beautiful land in a new way.

On September 30th, 2015 I drove from my home in Joshua Tree to Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Norman Oklahoma, Canton Oklahoma, across Texas, to Phoenix, back to Flagstaff and back to Santa Fe. In Texas, I visited ranches, various cultural groups, environmental groups, art museums, national parks, small towns, and cities. The trip took five weeks, returning home the second week of November having driven over 6,000 miles.

My purpose of this trip was to get a broad, varied view of attitudes of land use in America. The final product is an on-going, multi-media project. There are limited edition prints, limited book editions, and a possible full-length book, audio stories, and articles.

The first event of The America Project – “In Land We Trust” will be presented this fall. More information will come later.

A sampling of my work will be on display in the 4th Annual Biennial of Documentary and Fine Art Photography for the month of October in Berlin, Germany.

The generosity of the Earth

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The generosity of the Earth.

I am warm and cozy in the Bunny House, the name of my friend’s Pioneertown house. I think about the Earth and how generous it is. The earth is always there for us. The plants, the animals, insects, soil, minerals, air – all there. I’m enjoying the beauty and the abundance of the earth. I’m enjoying the Bunny House and intrigued by my feelings and attachment for this place. The smallish, rustic cabin-like dwelling is situated within sight of the San Bernardino Mountains near the Pioneertown Preserve. My friend is an architect, and although the house is rural and cabin-like, it is also a tribute to well-thought-out details and comfort. The raised ceiling lined with wood slats and beams points upward to well-placed skylights rendering it open and offering sunlight during the day. The floors – painted cement with a range of wear and stains are like a painting. The two bedrooms are separated by the living room, informal dining room, and entry. The kitchen is parallel to one of the bedrooms. The desert encircles the house and spreads out into the distance on at least two sides. The remaining two sides reveal neighbors, close enough for comfort but far enough away to maintain the feeling of being alone in this beautiful country.

The house evokes an image I had in my teens of a New York Apartment. That image stood for everything I desired out of life, a place of my own, a place away from the chaos of my family, a place of beauty, design, freedom – things both abstract and real. This house has the same feeling and the same atmosphere that I imagined all those years back. I never got to live in that apartment or anything that came close, but I get to stay in this house from time to time. I stay here on occasion when I rent my house out. I have a beautiful home, elegant, large and spacious. It also has land around it, although not as much as here. There is the sound of traffic nearby and the awareness of development closing in, but it is still wonderful. It is a delight to have my house and to be able to stay at unique and interesting places from time to time. A gift from generous friends.

I got up early today, watched the end of a Poirot episode on Netflix and then took a shower before going into town. It’s not yet noon, and I’m back at the Bunny House. I have the feeling of being wrapped in a mother’s arms.

I think about that feeling as I listen to the hum of the heater, and the clicking of the stove cooling down. I made tea. There is an electrical buzz in the house and not much more. It’s not quite silent. Now I hear a plane overhead and the dropping of burnt logs in the cast iron stove, the tick of the mouse clock – a local artist’s expression and the drone of the electric heater.

The art on the walls are collectible, again from local artists, and southwest finds. A Native American poncho hangs on the wall near the black, leather deco couch. A western wagon wheel table with horseshoes holds a Patron bottle with candles, and a brass and crystal lamp illuminates a small area of the room. The furniture is small and compact. There are tire tracks in the dirt outside the house. I can see them from my chair. The sun is setting just beyond the snow-capped San Bernardino Mountains.

The sun, the snow, the clouds, the wind – how rich the earth is.2016-01-14 11.49.03

Munich in January

January 6, 2016
In Munich, at a Starbucks. The Epiphany, January 6 and the 12th day of Christmas.

Pope Francis held the Vatican’s annual Holy Mass for the Epiphany in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Epiphany represents the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, as well as a more general celebration of his birth. The six Sundays which follow Epiphany are known as the time of manifestation.

The Twelfth Night (Epiphany) also marks a visit to the baby Jesus by the three Kings or Wise Men. It is the day Jesus was shown to the world.

At Starbucks in Munich. I have been here a couple of hours using the internet and getting work doing. It’s 12:15 and Starbucks is getting crowded. In Germany stores are closed on the Epiphany. Restaurants are open, but Starbucks was almost empty until the last half hour. I will stay just a little longer and move on. I’ll walk streets I haven’t taken before although I have seen most of this city over time. I have been to Munich about seven times over the last 13 years and often have stayed between 4 to 6 weeks. This Christmas trip is two weeks long.

A friend, Zoe Childerley flew in from London and joined Hannah and me in Munich. The first couple of days after Christmas Hannah stayed home and Zoe, and I traveled around the city and then to Schliersee, a small town and a municipality in the district of Miesbach in Bavaria. It is named after the nearby Lake Schliersee.

Zoe left just before New Years Eve, and I have spent time with Hannah or traveling around the city alone, as I am doing today.

There is a riveting exhibit of Jean Paul Gaultier a French fashion designer in Munich. At the exhibit, I was as taken by the people who flocked to the museum as I was by the display of photographs, designs, and memorabilia that made up this man’s life. I spent an hour watching and capturing the crowd through my lens.

Gaultier’s designs are provocative and controversial. More so when he first became famous than now, but I find his ideas of male and female sexuality challenging. He’s well known for sponsoring the 2003–04 exhibit in the Costume Institute of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art – “Braveheart: Men in Skirts.” Gaultier also designed Madonna’s trademark Corset with a cone bra.

Hannah and I found another exhibit of Salgado’s photographs. A whole other world of art, one I am so moved by.

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