Love Letters from Calzona

In this series, I wanted to explore the spatiality of Calzona and my own fascination with the juxtaposition of elements. The desert is known for its “nowhere-ness,” bleakness, and barrenness. However, the desert can also be a place to escape from the busyness of life. What would it be like to inhabit only this desert place for your entire life? What if the desert was the only place you had known and you could only dream of escaping to other places? I began to think about the desert as a space in juxtaposition to other places, like the ocean or space. From this, I developed the concept of my series, Love Letters from Calzona. Each piece features an animal native to Calzona sending a love letter to a creature from another place. In conjunction, I printed each piece as a postcard with its accompanying letter and left them in the Calzona mailbox. But the postal service doesn’t reach Calzona, and the letters will never be sent. Thus each letter becomes a missed connection, two star-crossed lovers destined to only meet in their dreams.


To the Mars rover,
Each night I explore this desert alone. I have no company except for the constant presence of the moon. The cold and dusty nights get so lonely. But I think of you, up there exploring that foreign desert all alone. In my dreams, our two deserts collide and we explore this rocky terrain together.
The Jackrabbit
To The Sea Urchin,
My spines have always scared others away. No one wants to get close to me for fear of getting hurt. I know you understand my struggle. I know you use your spines to keep you safe. But protection comes with a lonely cost. In my dreams, you come close, for you do not fear my spines hurting your fragile heart.
The Porcupine
To The Harp Seal,
Our homes are opposite extremes. You live in the freezing arctic cold, and I, in the scalding desert heat. Maybe one day, we will meet somewhere in the middle, on a cool, sunny afternoon. In my dreams, I am cool against your softness and you see behind the rough exterior I hide behind.
The Tortoise
To The Seahorse,
For all of my life, all I have known is this dry, endless desert. But I have heard stories of the beautiful sea, and I have heard of you, the majestic seahorse, dancing gracefully in that blue oasis. In my dreams, you see the stallion I am in my heart and we dance intertwined on these sandy dunes.
From, The Burro
To The Dragon,
I know they say you are a monster. They call me one too. In this desert, my scaly exterior scares everyone off. The loneliness has turned my heart into a reflection of my desolate home. But in my dreams, you aren’t scared of my venomous bite and you bring color into this monster’s barren heart.
The Gila Monster



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