When I met Darren Clark at SPE in September, I learned that he had a collection of dead animal photographs. Normally, while this intrigues me, it does not necessarily mean there’s enough considered material to include in a feature on MH. I often feel like “If it was qualified to be a series, it would have been edited into one.” That’s not how I felt when I saw Darren’s photographs. Instead, I felt like I was on a road trip through the northwestern United States in winter, spotting roadkill animals left and right. I keep thinking about the light in these pictures, how I feel like I know that bright, high-contrast wintertime light, and it looks so much more abrasive in my mind than in these photographs. Here it looks controlled, soft, dare I say pleasant (I really dislike the bright sunlight of the high desert). From these photos, I can tell that Darren both spends a lot of time in nature and has respect and reverence for it, even when it’s gory, gritty, macabre, “brutal.”

From the artist’s statement: I’m primarily a landscape photographer (I guess). I’m also a compulsive bird watcher. These pursuits afford me a lot of time in the natural (whatever that means) world. I usually work on specific projects, but am open to observing and documenting oddities, tragedies, beauty, and other surprising experiences with my surroundings. This selection of photographs is a collections of random tragic encounters from the last few years of living in the high desert of eastern Idaho, the beautiful, brutal, boring, difficult and wonderful place I call home.

Visit artist's site: darrenclarkphoto.com