|Preece, Walker River near Shurtz, NV, Nov. 2014|
The truth is, he was an ecologist and surveyor of wildlife before he even thought of plumbing the recesses of nonfigurative photography. For years, back in the days before computers and GPS, Nolan would trek into the remote badlands of that vast arid region between the Wasatch Mountains in the east and the Sierra Nevada in the west known as the Great Basin, with notebook in hand, recording everything he saw, plants, birds, animals, snakes, lizards, whatever lived or moved. It was a sagebrush ecology: cold winters, torrid summers, prehistoric lakes with no outlet to the sea. After a century of overgrazing and misguided water management it had also become a fragile and endangered environment, with ancient habitats dwindling, riparian woodlands eviscerated, riverbeds run dry, but one with a terrible beauty for those sensitive to it. Nolan was its advocate.
|Preece, Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Carson Sink NV 2013|
|Preece, Quinn River-Black Rock Desert Wilderness, NV 2009|
|Preece, Lahontan Dam and Powerstation near Fallon NV, 2014|
|Preece, Willow Lake, Carson Sink - Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, NV, 2013|
|Preece, Quinn River Sink - Black Rock Playa, NV, 2009|
These are clearly the shapes and patterns of an overpowering natural world, to which Preece is acutely attuned. They have resonated over the years in his darkroom work, in his chemigrams and glassprints, and have given it both a clarity and a greater intensity than it would have without it. Here's a chemigram from 2012, made quite possibly after a flyover of an ancient sink or a parched riverbed:
|Preece, Colony Collapse Disorder #2, detail, 2012|
For more information on any of this, contact Nolan himself at firstname.lastname@example.org.