When you drive into Darwin it looks pretty much like a dump. There's broken down shacks and junk cars and trucks all over the place. The real secret beautiful Darwin isn't visible from your vehicle; you have to get out and know where to look.

― Kathy Goss, author

Darwoon Dyreez (translated)



I began to photograph Darwin after living here for a few years, first as an outsider in this far-flung desert town, later as a neighbor, friend and participant in community gatherings.


Darwin's evidence as a desert mining town is everywhere: old shacks and storefronts; trailers and wrecked cars; machinery and ore cars and junk. The photographs of this idiosyncratic Mojave outpost are a narrative that tells of the interplay between the people who live where the end of the road meets the wilderness, and their assimilation with that topography.  The people and their creations both accommodate and celebrate the isolating vastness of their home. By delimitating, framing, personalizing, and reducing this space to a manageable scale, they co-opt, and ultimately, co-exist with it.


The photographs explore the humorous and absurd juxtapositions as well as the often beautiful eclectic monuments, artworks, assimilated mining detritus, and enigmatic objet d'art created that intersect with and humanize this landscape, while contradicting and mitigating the sublime expanse of it.


In Darwin, the limitless landscape, human presence and history intersect. These photographs are an exploration of the idea of isolation: how physical remoteness informs the space that people inhabit—while conversely, human activity; historical remnants; the individuals, and the constructs that they create define the character of a place.





All content copyright © Marcia Mack, except as noted.