Evan Jenkins – Sunflower Sutra

Sunflower Sutra collects images created across multiple trips home to Southern California between 2012 and 2018.

The project borrows its title from an Allen Ginsberg poem in which the narrator is struck by the beauty of a solitary sunflower in the midst of a modernized, desolate landscape. This analogy summarizes both the dream and desperation that California and its mythology traditionally represent.

I grew up in the coastal town of Ventura, CA. and lived there until I moved to Chicago in 2006. Over the past 12 years, my perception of my home state has shifted to include a much broader understanding of its contentious status as a symbolic place of hope and reinvention. By interweaving staged and found imagery I aim to avoid the traditional “documentary” mode and instead present an examination of the place as both real and imagined.