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Banner, WY

Land is central to everything in life — we live on land, from land, with land — and in so many ways, the same is true in death. As part of an ongoing investigation called The Rites of Land, artist and writer Erin Elder reckons with the complexities of land, specifically human legacies of ownership and exploitation. Focusing on very specific places, her observations give way to larger trends, if not truths, about how humans have used land and how land use has in turn shaped humanity. With a commitment to observing herself within these places and patterns, Erin wrestles with the impact of human presence while encountering her own vulnerabilities, biases, emotions, and impressions.  


Using various methods of research — observation, personal exploration, reading, drawing, and writing — to learn about place, the work is collected in the form of a self-published book. The second installment of this project, Trails Across the Bighorns brings together 22 drawings and as many short essays in a personal exploration of northern Wyoming. Juxtaposing histories with aftermaths while looking to the future, these stories reflect on the region’s unique intersections around cattle, colonization, archeology, museology, oil, extinction, image-making, tourism, and fear.

This chapter of research was made possible by a supported residency at Jentel Arts in Banner, WY.

This full-color limited edition book is available now for $25. 

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