Haruka Sakaguchi is a graphic designer/photographer currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. When she is not working out of her studio The Denizen Co., she can be found daydreaming about roadside diners and taking portraits of NYC locals. Last year saw her take a trip through the Californian desert to Joshua Tree. Speaking of the adventure, she says:
“The desert is a place of stark contradiction. Small clusters of sagebrush adorn behemoth mountains. Sweltering hot days give way to unforgiving subzero nights.”“I left home – the Californian desert – when I was 18 years old. Since then I’ve lived in the port city of Glasgow, amidst old-growth forests in Vancouver, and currently, in the bullheaded metropolis of New York. I have loved each of these cities deeply – but nothing compares to the static mystique of the High Desert.
An old friend and I took a much-anticipated road trip to Joshua Tree while I was home for the holidays to close out 2015. We stayed in a 1953 homestead close to Downtown Joshua Tree, a one-room cabin complete with a south-facing porch, a farmhouse sink and an antique wood burning stove. We spent our days exploring sun-bleached ghost towns and desert curio; we spent our evenings holed up at Pappy & Harriet’s, a honky tonk saloon in Pioneertown.
The desert is a place of stark contradiction. Small clusters of sagebrush adorn behemoth mountains. Sweltering hot days give way to unforgiving subzero nights. The mind-numbing emptiness inexplicably fills a spiritual void. However desolate, the desert has a way of reminding us that we are but tiny blemishes in a devastatingly large narrative of time and space. As we drove down the Twentynine Palms Highway on our way back to LA, the overwhelmingly static landscape gave way to occasional blips of tiny ramshackle houses and abandoned homesteads – morsels of civilization that could not stand the test of time.”
All images © Haruka Sakaguchi