Baja Totems 2013

Kamla, a few artist friends, and I made a three-week trip to Baja Sur, Mexico in January-February 2013 with Loreto as a base. The water adventure combined kayaking in the Gulf of California for eight days and then driving to the Pacific side to San Ignacio Bay, where we watched mating and birthing Gray Whales. We then made a trip to the interior Baja San Marta Mountains to view the UNESCO World Heritage Site rock cave petroglyphs at El Palmarito (possibly dating over one thousand years ago).

Pre-historic Baja indigenous rock art showing deers and whale

El Parmarito was a vital and deep reminder/inspiration of our Paleolithic totemic creations embedded in the Nature?s embrace.

During the kayaking trip we stopped at different coves, islands, and beaches every few days. During that time I made found object pieces from whatever washed up on the beach or came down in the arroyos in the storms. In a few of these totems my artist friends, Libby Jennings and Cornelia von Mengershausen, joined the creative process. The Baja Totems are transient, spontaneous works. The purity of the pristine Baja coastal desert, with the brilliant Sun and cobalt sky, the intermittent fierce winds, and coastal vegetation dropping from the mountains, were the muse and backdrop. They are only documented with photos (or video) and are meant to “decay” and return to Nature in the cycle that these totems both disrupted and added too.

Baja Totems


Payson with Libby Jennings

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