The BADLANDS images began with photographing in the mysterious and other-worldly Bisti Wilderness of Northwest New Mexico, where thousands of acres of bizarre geologic formations conceal deeply buried ancient histories. Intrigued by this enigmatic terrain, Leah became a visual storyteller of those hidden narratives, peeling back the surfaces through digital means, exposing parallel worlds beneath the seemingly impenetrable exteriors.
Leah’s artwork is an exploration of the unpredictability that occurs in landscapes of profound space and random patterning. In this mapping—whether of surface topography or of interiors of the body or of imaginary spaces—she employs various drawing and imaging techniques in a process of viewing, analyzing and re-presenting information.
For the BADLANDS series she built up layers of photographic images of the actual location, interrupting their individual seamlessness with interventions (e.g., waveforms, sines, filters, and freehand drawing), and eliminating sections of the strata to reveal underlying segments. The resulting images are “revelations” of the imagined Bisti mysteries that lie beneath the surface of this extraordinary land.