The image of the open road brings with it an unspoken promise of solitude and contemplation. A freedom from obligation with the only task being the one to get from here to there; a mind as clear as the view. Following gravel roads across Namibia can mean hours go by without seeing another human being.¬†Photographer Kyle Weeks¬†has spent the last few years exploring his land of birth extensively while working on photo stories in the far corners of Namibia that take multiple trips to complete. While these projects are made at his final destinations, the long trips there and back offer their own inspiration, framed by windscreen and windows.
Not specific to any of his projects, these are the photographs Weeks has taken along the way.¬†They’re photographs from the in-between; changing light over unfolding landscapes that become still in the frame. A few are from northern Namibia, near the Huab Valley and in the Kunene Region near the Kunene River. Others are from the west, shot in the Namib Desert, the world’s oldest at 55 million years old, at least, and along the Skeleton Coast near Swakopmund, Moon Landscape and Cape Cross. The photographs travel south too, along the B1 highway taken on many trips between Windhoek and Cape Town where Weeks lives and works. It’s tempting to think of these stark Namibian scenes as ‘nothingness’, but they’re enough to pull at your feet with the temptation of travel, destination unknown.
I‚Äôve returned here for many a reason
I‚Äôll certainly live here for many a season
Like thousands of others I hear its heartbeat
My heart opens up when I am in the mountains
Where I can be alone with my thoughts
I‚Äôve returned here to be in the deserts
I love to hear the sound made by sand dunes
I am one of those who perceive the rhythm
Of a landscape as recorded in many paintings
I am one of thousands who know I am finally home
I‚Äôve indeed returned here for many a season
This is my God-given beautiful country
That very mountain over there and across
The deserts sandwiching my African land
Even though I don‚Äôt own anything, it‚Äôs my land too.
Namibia by Mvula Ya Nangolo
from Watering the Beloved Desert (Makanda: Brown Turtle Press, 2008)