In conjunction with Denver’s Month of Photography, David B. Smith Gallery is pleased to present Magic Circle, a solo exhibition by Las Vegas-based photographer Mikayla Whitmore.
Presented in the gallery's project room, Magic Circle taps into the lore of Western landscapes mingled with the art historical symbolism of the mirror and the shape of the circle. Through her use of light and reflection Whitmore alludes to the mirage, the storied symbol of salvation, particularly when one is lost in the desert. An illusion caused by atmospheric conditions, the mirage has the power to affect one’s reality. It is in this space between harsh truth and mistaken interpretation that Whitmore culls substance for Magic Circle.
Having grown up in Las Vegas, Whitmore is no stranger to the howling, dry winds and solitude of the Nevada desert landscape. As she describes, “being alone in the desert you start to hear and be aware of everything… It’s as almost for a moment, you can see a shift in time.” Camera in hand, in the same deserts where Hollywood’s sci-fi monsters came to life and where generations of secrets were buried and forgotten, the West is decidedly reclaimed in Magic Circle. Functioning as both a tool of inward reflection and vehicle for story-telling, Whitmore's carefully placed mirrors echo untold narratives hidden in the desert sands.