Benny van der Wal

“I Was Here”


I am interested in human domination of nature and how our feelings of entitlement to the land are accepted. I WAS HERE is part of a series of images that explores how the Mojave Desert is treated as a wasteland. Recent history in this anonymous landscape includes a variety of destructive human activities from the testing of nuclear bombs to the dumping of personal garbage. Roads and power lines are so prevalent in the natural environment that untouched land is nearly impossible to discover. As a visual artist and photographer, I focus on natural and constructed environments and use art to reflect how humans interact with our surroundings.


My work is exhibited internationally by art galleries, personal collections, public and private institutions. Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, I moved to the United States in 1997. I received my BFA in photography from the University of Utah and has since worked within the fields of architecture, engineering, real estate and development. I am currently finishing my MFA in photography from Brooks Institute in California.

Selected by Anne Lyden, International Photography Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland.