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David Gardner March 16, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Nola and David in their Motor Home in Quartzite, Arizona 2014                     

David Gardner (b. 1954, USA) devides his time between San Francisco and a 26 foot motor home, pursuing his photographic interests across the continent. His interest in the landscape has evolved over the past 35 years. Originally photographing in a contemplative style free of human intervention, his emphasis shifted as the difficulty of isolating landscapes to fit that style has increased.  His recent project, Life on Wheels: The New American Nomads, received Photomedia Center’s 2013 Contemporary Image Makers micro-grant, and has shown at the Davis-Orton Gallery in New York, Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts, and recently received the Best of Show award at LH Horton Gallery’s Documentary competition in Stockton, California.

About the Photograph:

“When I first began photographing people for Life on Wheels, I learned about a meeting place for RV’ers in the Arizona desert town of Quartzsite. Every year in January and February, the town, and surrounding BLM land, inflates from a normal population of  three thousand to over one million people. They come in motorhomes, toy haulers and trailers to enjoy the sun and warmth of the southern Arizona desert and meet up with friends and family. It seemed like the perfect way to begin the project.”

“Once there, I spent time group of Lazy Daze motorhome owners and met David and Nola. We set a time for sme to photograph them. When I arrived at their rig, we sat in their back lounge and talked about the lifestyle, and the sort of image I was after. Part of our conversation was about how long they intended to live the full-time RV lifestyle. David told me that when they first discussed the idea, they decided to give it five years and then reassess how they felt. Five years later, Nola misses her children and grandchildren and wants to stop traveling but David does not. While reviewing the twenty photographs I took of them, it was clear that the first image best expressed the dilemma they faced. Nola on the fringe, David in the middle, the kids adorning the walls and the great outdoors just on the other side of the window.”