Sarah Wilson

DIG: Notes on Field and Family by Sarah Wilson, 2023

DIG: Notes on Field and Family - Sarah Wilson
Before he died, photographer Sarah Wilson’s grandfather gave her three black metal
boxes filled with faded Kodachromes. The images featured geologic charts, rock
formations, bone fragments and skulls, and landscapes from his annual digs in West
Texas and Big Bend National Park. These were his teaching slides from when he was a
professor of geology and paleontology at the University of Texas. Holding them up to
the light, Wilson realized that she and her grandfather photographed some of the exact
same desert landscapes, from the same vantage points, only fifty years apart. This
shared connection ignited an adventure and a long-term project, featured in the pages
of her first book, DIG: Notes on Field and Family.
Wilson joins paleontologists on digs every winter in the Big Bend area, searching for
bones and photographing the same stark desert landscapes featured in those vintage
35mm transparencies. But her work is not just an homage to her grandfather. She has
created conceptual self-portraits in the style of geology and anatomy charts,
combining the personal and the scientific. For Sarah, these annual digs are a
pilgrimage to an origin story that reaches beyond traceable generations. Each bone
collected is evidence of the slow, significant work of evolution, serving as a bracing
reminder that we, as humans, sit at the very end of that timeline.
Second edition released April 2023
Photographs by Sarah Wilson
Essay by Matthew A. Brown
Hardcover, 11.25 x 9.25 inches
128 pages
Edition of 350
ISBN: 978-1-949608-34-2
Trade Edition: $60.00

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