Joshua Tree A-Z is the first of a suite of four photographic alphabets -The Hermetic Alphabet, Neon Boneyard Las Vegas A-Z, and American Alphabet -that Natal created between 2001 and 2006, where each body of work explores a specific facet of the alphabet. Perpetuated by her ongoing fascination with the complexities of the language, it picks up where EarthWords (1998-2001) left off, continuing the visual dialogue between language, landscape, culture, nature, human nature and photography. The letters become metaphors that we are of nature, not separate from it.
Natal sought out the 1.5 million acres of the Mojave National Preserve, on the western edge of California between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, home to the broad, granitic Cima Dome that houses the world’s largest and densest Joshua tree forest in the world. Here, during a month-long trek., Natal searched for each of the letters of the alphabet in the trees shaped by natural forces, reading the typography of the land.
Joshua Tree A-Z revels in the beauty of each of the 26 letter forms, transforming the trees through the use of photographic language of light, camera, lens, perspective and angle of view. Working with a Deardorf 5 x 7 Special, and Polaroid Type 55 Negative Positive 4 x 5 film, no digital alterations of the trees were employed, delighting in how the formal language of photography transforms what is in front of the camera. Perpetuating the intersections of language and landscape, Joshua Tree A-Z records the collision between language and landscape into a riveting language all its own, written of light, land, sky, air and biological form.