Adrain Chesser writes:
Since 2006 I have been working on a project titled “The Return.” It is a portrait of a people, a place, and an ideal. The work is about a group of people who are living nomadically. They travel with the seasons on what was referred to by first nations people as the “hoop.” Their ideal is to live wild and free, untethered from society, to thrive by utilizing traditional hunter/gatherer skills. Their greatest desire is to have a symbiotic relationship with the earth–“the Mother”–to live a life in balance, to give back more than they take. They are my friends, lovers, and my extended family. We traveled throughout Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Northern California. We took refuge in old shacks; we dug roots planted hundreds of years ago by Native American grandmothers; we gorged ourselves on the bounty of abandoned orchards. “The Return” is a collaboration with the Native American Ritualist Timothy White Eagle. Our collaborative process involved a considerable amount of prayer, consideration, and discussion about the spiritual nature of the way in which these people live, the spiritual nature of the way art works, and the ways in which archetypal energies work within mythic story telling.
Timothy White Eagle writes:
The subjects in “The Return” are predominately not indigenous. Most carry European ancestry. And most come in one form or another from the disenfranchised margins of mainstream America. Most are poor, some are queer, some are trans-gendered, some are hermits and some are politically radical. All believe that major shifts are needed in the way modern society interacts with the natural world. And all are willing pioneers, stepping off into uncertain terrain searching for something lost generations ago. Perhaps poetically, those attempting to live these ideals could be viewed as a rainbow tribe. In their search they struggle to be released from old ways of being. Cars, soda pop, cell phones, and cigarettes follow them. Convenience has a magnetic power. Addictions, cravings, and desires are hard to break. These pioneer’s seek a new way in the world, while still learning to let go of the old. These are uncommon heroes shedding layer by layer the learned domestication of the dominator culture.