Progress is a set of 10 large-scale black and white drawings together with 10 texts that update John Bunyan’s allegory, Pilgrims Progress, to the 21st century.
Most people know his first book but few know of the second, which describes Pilgrim’s wife’s trials. In this work Pilgrim’s wife is re-imagined as a female private detective in California. She drives a route through a run down, subprime desert landscape of repossession and dereliction, encountering the locations of her original trials.
The locations are renamed after frequently recurring place names. Thus The Slough of Despond becomes La Cienega (literally the ditch in Spanish), Mount Clear becomes Montclair, and The Lake of Fire becomes Water, Gas Oil...
The work challenges American stereotypes. It explores the disparity in American life between myth and reality, past and present, and the friction between progress and tradition.
The images are seen in the context of 16 sombre, and austere black and white photographic prints. These depict the surrounding moonlit desert landscape. Nature is seen as dark, hostile, intimidating, and threatening rather than benign.
The drawings can be seen at:
The photographs can be seen at: