Click here to view this artwork, Ancient Enclave | Navajo Nation, and its currently available sizes.

This young Navajo man walking under the Big Hogan Arch in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park reflected the land’s power, beauty, and elegance. I was mesmerized by every element: his long hair, the bold, black-and-white designs on the blanket in which he was wrapped, the slim slice of turquoise of his gorgeous necklace just barely visible. In all these things I see his connection to the earth and to the profound spirituality of weathered rocks. In these stratified layers are centuries of movement, gravity, geology, people living in harmony with nature, his ancestry.

At the same time he is grounded, there is an implication of soaring escape, of transcendence, found in the deep, vertical scarring on the rock behind him. In this enclave, not seen in this image, the sacred stones curve into an arch and there is a hole like a window centered far above his head. He and I are embraced in this wondrous vestibule and, if we were to look upwards, we might see all the way to infinity, to blue sky and the heavens.

We do not speak as I make this image. Solitude or being with only a single companion in nature is empowering. There is a quiet in which the environment around us is heightened. I sense the magnificence of nature, of each breath taken, of the comfort found in being close to the land. I am reminded that I am merely a tiny particle of the universe and it is not frightening. It is a comfort to know the land endures, although he and I will not. This moment of ancient elegance remains eternal.

Limited Edition


18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 cm)

24 x 32 inches (60.96 x 81.28 cm)

30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm)

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