After it dies, the Ironwood tree can stand for one thousand years, so dense and toxic that it is unable to rot. Chemicals in a dark heartwood.

This land on which I was born and where I returned to live after nearly two decades of separation is not as I remembered through a child's eyes. The desert is beautiful, this I knew. But this beauty is steeped in – even dependent on – violence. The desert preserves or it consumes with finality – both objects and ways of life.

These photos are an exploration of the land and people of Southern Arizona, a collection of chance encounters as I search for connection and a deeper understanding of this place.

Desert Dispatch

Cheney Orr © All rights reserved.
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