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Amy Perl

Mill Valley, Ca

I am a California native who, from an early age, has had a keen interest in objects that hold a sense of history. This fascination with history later extended to people, and in particular the family histories of my own family and others’. As her my for photography developed, I was naturally drawn to documenting the forgotten histories imbued within junkyards, abandoned houses, and lost and found objects. My interest in the "forgotten" has continued, but it has also moved into a different space. In my exploration of the detritus of other people, I found myself in the wide open spaces of the desert - and this space opened my mind to more than just the stuff left behind by man. I also began seeing beyond the stuff, and began seeing what was around it, holding it.

In the late 90s, Amy, her husband, and occasionally a few inspired friends, began a series of road trips from the Bay Area to locations throughout Northern California, Route 66, and the West. Finding the same sense of forgotten history and quiet abandonment in the landscapes of the Southwest, Amy expanded her travels to sites in and around Arizona and New Mexico. Today, Amy continues to expand her search, photographing people, objects and landscapes not only throughout California and the West, but throughout the Gulf Coast, and when she gets the opportunity, in Mexico and Europe.

Amy’s photographs capture the spirit of the place— the sense of what’s been there before, and the aspirations for what may have been. We see our selves and our stories in these photographs, whether they are truly ours or not. After spending some time with Amy’s photographs, they become part of our own personal stories, and evoke a found serenity that we all seek.

Amy Perl earned her BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and lives with her family in Marin County.

Salton Sea Wall

Amy Perl