Michael Sharp, “Lake Bonneville Remnants”

Set of all 6 volumes with Long Divide fanned.

Set of all 6 volumes shown with Lake Bonneville shorelines spread shown.

Steep Mountain volume shown open and on display in gallery. Both interior and exterior visible.

Old River Bed volume shown open with cover and interior/exterior shown on display in gallery.

Set of 6 volumes standing together closed.

Michael Sharp
Springville, Utah

Lake Bonneville Remnants
Kallitype, Letterpress, Hand made ink
5.280 x aprox 15 in diameter
5.280 x 4.0625 x 0.375 in.

Artist Statement

I enjoy exploring the concepts of memory and identity within the context of place and time.  I have been looking at the way place influences life experience and the remnant memories that define our relationships with those experiences.  These memories ultimately come to define much of our human sense of identity.  A triangular equivalent or circular unity between these three elements of place, memory, and identity occurs consistently throughout my work. My body of work represents a personal attempt to understand and define these aspects of the human experience.

Lake Bonneville Remnants addresses these themes through exploration of Great Salt Lake. Great Salt Lake has been shrinking and reached record low levels this winter. The Salt Lake valley was once filled with a prehistoric lake, Lake Bonneville, that shrank over millennia leaving the geologic remnants and marks that define the land in north and western Utah, where I grew up. My exploration of these geologic features act as a metaphoric internal search for understanding my own presence and mark on the land.

The six volumes in this work present panoramic photographs taken from sites related to significant cutting off points as Lake Bonneville and Great Salt Lake have receded. The photographs are Kallitypes contact printed from 4×5 inch large format silver gelatin negatives. I wanted to use the panorama as a reference to the lake form with an encircling shoreline. The prominent shorelines of the Lakes are printed letterpress on the pages. I made my own ink to bring the elements of iron and earth from the lake bed of Great Salt Lake into the work, not merely as color references but as physical presences