Sawdust Mountain

Photographs by Eirik Johnson

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11 x 11 inches 144 pages, 70 color images Hardcover 978-1-59711-091-4 Spring 2009 Designed by Inger-Lise McMillan
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A culmination of four years of photographing throughout Oregon, Washington, and Northern California, Sawdust Mountain focuses on the tenuous relationship between industries reliant upon natural resources and the communities they support.

Timber and salmon are the bedrock of a regional Northwest identity, but the environmental impact of these declining industries has been increasingly at odds with the contemporary ideal of sustainability. In this, his second book, Johnson reveals a landscape imbued with an uncertain future—no longer the region of boomtowns built upon the riches of massive old-growth forests.

Johnson, a Seattle native, describes his photographs as "a melancholy love letter of sorts, my own personal ramblings." Through this poetic approach, Sawdust Mountain records a region affected by historic economic complexities, and by extension, one aspect of our fraught relationship with the environment in the twenty-first century.

Eirik Johnson’s (born in Seattle, 1974) work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, George Eastman House, and Aperture Gallery. His first book, Borderlands, was awarded the Santa Fe Prize for Photography in 2005.

Tess Gallagher (essay) is the author of fifteen books, including Moon Crossing Bridge, poetic elegies to her late husband Raymond Carver.  

David Gutterson (poem) was born in Seattle in 1956. His novel, Snow Falling on Cedars, won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award.

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