The Dunes: Landscapes Evolving film gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at Drew’s whirlwind journey and offers collectors an inside look into his creative process and the inspiration behind the collection. The footage is accompanied by an original score composed by multi-platinum and Grammy-winning composer Christopher Ward, who has produced World song recordings alongside Hans Zimmer for movies such as Pearl Harbor and The Lion King.
Photography for me, is a vessel for discovery. The process of discovering something new, or uncovering the elements that make a place truly special excites me. Not knowing what I mind find as I walk over the crest of a dune, this process of revealing the unknown inspires me.
The sheer size and scale of this monumental landscape forced me to examine my relationship with the environment.
Immense and majestic, these dunes are the largest in the world creating what might resemble a sea, sometimes bodies in abstract, or even modern architecture. For me, the experience of standing amongst the hills and mountainous dunes was not unlike sailing on the ocean, knowing that what I was looking at would soon be reshaped by the wind. Stacked upon one another, the sand in scorching Namibia creates great slinking curves that seem to go on for an eternity. They are made up of layers and layers of light and color, shapes and sizes. I chose these sculptural, sensual, and humbling dunes because they reminded me of one thing one moment, another the next: a country hillside, a beachside town, or swimming in the sea. Both calming and dramatic, the process of cresting, and of photographing the seemingly endless dunes was inspiring and energizing; an experience of communicating with a landscape that is hospitable only to a handful of particularly hardy flora and fauna.
The minimalist landscape forced me to look for and appreciate the organic shapes, the intersection of lines, the textures and layers, and the subtle shifts in tonal values. Without an identifiable object or patterns, there’s really no reference to scale, and so it can be difficult for one to discern the scope or magnitude of what it is you’re looking at.
Being in a place as vast as the Namib Desert, amongst this incredible sea of sand, it compels you develop this great appreciation and respect for mother nature.
Traveling for weeks with only a few companions, I came to recognize in the sand images from other parts of my life. Despite being worlds away from home, the lights and shapes, even the limited vegetation evoked real nostalgia. I created this collection knowing that the same would be true for others, that this place was special not only because of it’s grand scale but because of it’s ability to transport the viewer over and over again.
I found the sheer power with which the wind wind moves the sand and reshapes the landscape to be astonishing.
The wind, whether it was whipping around or the gentlest of breezes, was a reminder that this landscape is in a constant state of evolution. This lent to the feeling that I was capturing a unique moment in time; the culmination of thousands of variables that will never repeat. It’s the essence of these instances that I strive to capture in my photographs.
Below, I’ve added a few of my favorite images documenting the ‘making of’ this film.