The series takes its name from a small creek that drains the area of Central Montana’s Little Belt Mountains where the images were taken.
The motivation for making the photographs springs from two very different places. First, I’ve always been interested in the alien scale and formal qualities of the area. I had been working on another project (also in the same area) and happened to take an image one day of a dark, silhouetted ridgeline. Looking at the contact print, I was struck by the way the way image was both reductive (two simple shapes, land and sky), and paradoxically loaded with description (livestock graze in the distance, barely perceptible fencelines make their way across the frame, trees look more model train than real world, and animal trails and atv tracks crisscross). Empty yet full.
Second (and more pressing given the recent presidential election), for years I’ve wanted to document this area’s role in the US’s nuclear-weapon arsenal. The military began burying Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles in unassuming silos throughout the foothills here in the 1960s, and they remain a quiet (but active) presence today. Looking back at that early image, I soon realized that it also had an uneasiness that alludes to the presence of something else. This is key, as these images must also be read in the context of what is literally hidden from view.