El Paso, TX  [2021]
Perforated Steel Panels [Budget 208k]

This artwork is inspired by a the Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site. My experience navigating this truly unique and ancient landscape felt akin to being marooned on a distant planet while firmly situated in an earthbound site of incredible historical significance. This design reinforces this familiar yet unfamiliar experience through outsized, oddly-scaled and playfully rendered imagery.

The granite-like rocky hills, water-holding depressions, indigenous plant species such as the abundant creosote bushes, prickly pear cacti, sotol, lechuguilla agave, and ocotillo, as well as the thousands of years old native pictographs serve as source material for this bright, vibrant and abstracted landscape collage.

My design process began by identifying the aforementioned vegetation, local ecology, and historical artifacts and then distilling them into distinctive yet simplified isometric illustrations. These illustrations were then scaled, repositioned, and collaged into a monumental landscape mural and facade treatment for the water park’s entrance pavilion.

Finally, the title "desert in bloom" refers not so much as to the flowering of the indigenous plant life, which hadn't yet blossomed at the time of my visit, but more so to the colorful vibrancy of this interpretive artwork.

Photographs by Brian Wancho