555 Gallery is pleased to present new work
by Jeffrey Heyne
To hunt a moon
This incredible series of collaged images portrays a narrative of land ownership centered around the native peoples of the Southwest, the fledgling statehood of Colorado, cattle ranches, and the Apollo Moon missions.
With territory disputes and fuel pipelines being permitted in wilderness areas and land owned by native peoles under threat this work by Jeffrey Heyne of Boston is very poignant.
Growing tensions will affect greater numbers of people as land and environmental regulations are soon to be rolled back.
the inclusion of the Apollo Moon photos function as a metaphor to deliver a poetic and emphatic message of a land and peoples under threat even today.
Images were captured in 2016 along with NASA photos from 1972 and 1973, and others from 1910 and the1890’s found within the public domain.
To Hunt a Moon grew out of a chance encounter with William Gay, a ranch owner in Steamboat Springs. In 2015 I was photographing in the middle of a large ranch capturing the summer evening light. I thought I was the only one around for miles except for some cattle and hay bales. I see an old fellow a mile away limping towards me. After 30 minutes he approaches, takes off his cowboy hat, and I can see his face is deeply creviced and darkly tanned from being outdoors his entire 70 years. He asks me what I’m up to, why I’m taking pictures, and if I realize that I’m trespassing on his land. He then asks me if I’m a kind soul.
He is just toying with me, but in an eloquent and philosophical manner, and we strike up a friendship after just a few minutes. The following winter I visited again to photograph his ranch. But this time the stark white snow covered landscape reminds me of the Apollo astronaut photos from the Moon. There the overwhelming brightness of the sun makes the powdery lunar surface resemble snow.
On Bill’s ranch, the contrast of the dark fencing against the white snow is very apparent and I’m intrigued with the way property is parsed up especially since the region was once occupied by the Ute Indian tribe. Doing research I came across an 1898 newspaper story about the US Army being called in to prevent a Ute hunting party from taking game around Steamboat Springs. According to the newspaper, the Ute came to the area, “…to hunt a moon.”