When I saw Jon Cardwell’s “Contemporary gold mining, Colorado” I had to think about how far people used to travel and dig for their their treasure. And how a little whisper of gold inspired people to close their shops, leave their fields and follow millions of other in their search. They would drift across countries in the hope to get to the abundance of gold first. I imagine the more they traveled the further and further away from the true lead they got. His images inspired me to think about the hardship, every gold fever initiated. Women were left to fend for themselves as their husbands left for an adventure to strike it rich. If they ever returned is another story. But these images are about Here & Now.
Since the current economic crisis, poverty and unemployment in Colorado has soared. As in other places across the globe, there has been a sharp resurgence in gold mining as a source of income in the state. This ‘gold rush’ is reminiscent of the Great Depression of 1929, when people supported themselves in the same way, extracting more gold from the ground than in the whole of the first gold rush of the late 1850’s. The following series of portraits and landscapes were taken between May and June 2010 in Colorado, the aim being to capture a phenomenon that is both starkly contemporary and reminiscent of the mythic Wild West.