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Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
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Keywords:#desertdispatches, #ospix, Osceola Refetoff, St Madeleine Catholic Church – Infrared Exposure – Trona CA – 2010, ansel adams, barren, black & white photography, california desert, catholic, christian, church, cross, decay, desert dispatches, desolate, digital infrared photography, editorial, elmarit 24mm, faith, fixed focus lens, forsaken dreams, gallery 825, graphic, high & dry: dispatches from the land of little rain, human legacy, human trace, kcet artbound, laaa, land artifacts, leica m8, los angeles art association, moah lancaster, mojave desert, peeling paint, prime lens, religious, san bernardino county, searles valley CA, shadow, small town, symmetry, trona CA, usa,,
St. Madeleine Catholic Church - Infrared Exposure - Trona, California - 2010


An unmistakable strengthening of faith exists amongst populations suffering economic and environmental hardship. The wide spectrum of vernacular religious expressions often creates a surreal dissonance with the desert landscapes they punctuate.

St. Madeleine Catholic Church – Trona, California – 2010
Infrared Exposure – First printed: 2014

Presenting a stark, Brutalist exterior, the Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Roman Catholic Church was completed in 1958. Perhaps the height of Cold War contributed to the creation of such an imposing structure, though a central stained glass feature, not visible from the outside, brings unexpected warmth and luminosity to the interior. The California desert offers a tough environment for any being, so the church may indeed be well suited to Trona, a struggling 100-plus-year-old mining town on the southern border of Death Valley.

Arid: Journal of the Desert – Prayer Changes Things: Desert Faith in Trona, CA 2015