Black Place

It all started when…


Abiquiu’s very own Walter Nelson, photographer, painter, sculptor, and all around explorer, took Joseph (the Ringwork's guy) out to the uninhabited badlands on the Navajo Reservation in Northwestern New Mexico to camp for the night.

We are NOT in Seattle any more Toto!

Walter and his even more adventurous explorer friend had been walking The Black Place for many years with all the motivations any explorer ever has… you know. Counting all the natural wonders of this planet, The Black Place has to be one of the most remarkable.

After a night in this New Mexican natural wonder, Walter and Joseph decided to play with an idea merging their two disciplines. What if Walter’s stunning photograph of an ocher rock against a black sand sea could transform into real gold, adding a new dimension/light to the piece?  The philosophers stone where it originates, alchemy! Gold symbolizes the endless longing in the human heart, which in its material alchemical form represents an “exoteric idea”, a stage of perfection, and as the “esoteric idea” (abstract) the final transcendent stage of the work to understand life. TT

For Walter’s original photos:


Above is Walter Nelson's stunning original photograph from his book, The Black Place Two Seasons.

The finished work: Above, Walter's photo with Joseph's (cast in gold) rock. Rock dimensions: 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches. Below, showing part of the process. Small pieces of rock were applied with wax to a larger rock surface and it was carved to match the original ocher rock.