Eirik Johnson: Sawdust Mountain
Image 1 / 8: Eirik Johnson. Stacked logs in Weyerhaeuser sort yard, Cosmopolis, Washington.
Image 2 / 8: Eirik Johnson. Mill, Aberdeen, Washington.
Image 3 / 8: Eirik Johnson. Stacked alder boards, Seaport Lumber Planer, South Bend, Washington.
Image 4 / 8: Eirik Johnson. Cindy, Nemah River hatchery, Washington.
Image 5 / 8: Eirik Johnson. Elwha River Dam, Washington.
Image 6 / 8: Eirik Johnson: Sawdust Mountain. (installation view).
Image 7 / 8: Eirik Johnson: Sawdust Mountain. (installation view).
Image 8 / 8: Eirik Johnson: Sawdust Mountain. (installation view).
The subject of Eirik Johnson’s photographic series Sawdust Mountain is a natural environment altered and marked by humankind. This Northwest photographer explores 19th-century myths about a powerful and romantic West full of promise and bountiful assets, myths that are now replaced by 21st-century ecological concerns arising from the toll taken by natural-resource-based industries. Along the way a rural population has found itself cast adrift. Sawdust Mountain encompasses not only fisherman and hatchery specialists, lumber workers, and reforestation projects, but also the disenfranchised: abandoned buildings and vehicles, makeshift stores only one step above yard sales. Throughout Sawdust Mountain Johnson touches back to the epic scale and sublime beauty of Carleton Watkins’s photographs, some of the earliest known images of the region. The Henry Art Gallery will present a selection of works from Johnson’s Sawdust Mountain series, accompanied by 19th-century photographs from the University of Washington Special Collections by photographers such as Darius Kinsey.