Wyoming floats and we can float in it when we are there. The land and its history make it so. Those who live there have a different perspective and more importantly a different perception. This is perhaps of the greatest importance for the artists there.
In the Buddhist tradition it is our perception which roots us in the relative space we inhabit. Like clouds, ideas and thoughts come and go; a clear perception is what we seek.
When i arrived to live and work in Wyoming in 2000, one of the discussions at the time was to dispense with the State brand, “Like No Place on Earth”- which had its obvious connotations. However…
Wyoming floats. Time and space are different here, as is the light – even different than the “Land of Enchantment”, New Mexico. In this sense it is like no place on earth. It holds a particular energy that is created by geology and geography. Wyoming is genuine. There is one thing to rely on – the land on which one walks and the sky, rain, snow, wind and air that surrounds it. Others exist but are infrequent.
All of this makes the practice of clear perception an intense and real possibility. There is no distraction. Land is the container within which one is able to sit and contemplate – to practice being human. To live in Wyoming is to face the world head on – no matter what the situation.
I would offer that for the artist, at least this one, it is the ideal. Proof is in the tremendous quality of work that is created there. A well-kept secret which will likely remain as not that many read this blog and even more the case – it takes a certain type of person to survive there.
Those who do not know Wyoming carry their own perceptions – as a result it does leave a refined group of makers in isolation, unless they choose not to be. What this points to is what is the most important thing about being an artist – making work – that is what many do there. They just make the work and understand that the art world exists but it does not interfere with the process, for the most part. There are always artists that end up bowing to the system; in a place like Wyoming the artist that chooses that path is garishly obvious.
Wyoming floats, like many of its artists, in a space that is astoundingly limitless. This is the ideal place for the makers that know themselves. Wyoming, as a studio, is like no place on earth.