From desert to destination

Elliott Routledge's temporary installation on the sand dunes of Worimi Conservation Lands explores why artists are being drawn to the deserts.

There is the impression that the desert is a barren landscape, a place of mystery and hardship. But, for many, the desert landscape is a muse for artistic expression, and home to long-standing cultures.

Still standing in Moapa Valley, near Nevada is prominent US land artist Michael Heizer’s Double Negative (1969), two trenches dug into the earth that run for more than 400 metres. The Sahara, Mojave and Nevada deserts and more have become artists’ playgrounds, some accepting the ephemerality of their work while others become monuments.

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram: @lleizy_