The human imagination begins developing as early as the age of 2-years-old. Studies have shown that physical activity and sensory stimulation have a direct correlation with creativity as well as the cognitive growth and bliss of imagination. The vividly colored and fantastical world of amusement parks have long been staples in stimulating the minds of children. Though visually stimulating, many of these theme parks lack depth, as most of them are aimed towards monetary gain. A new era of childhood amusement is dawning and photographer Zipporah "Zippy" Lomax is capturing this era in her upcoming photo book, Dusty PlayGround: For the Littlest Burners.
A professional freelance photographer since 2007 and an official festival photographer since 2012, Lomax has captured and shared some of humanity's most beautiful moments. Being the fifth child of six and the aunt of eight, she has always had a great understanding and connection with children. Lomax has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, Costa Rica, Southeast Asia, India, Nepal and Indonesia, photographing children and families as well as the magic that surrounds them. Her most popular work is that from Burning Man which she has been attending since 2000, becoming deeply immersed and well known within its expansive community. Other notable festivals she has photographed are Lightning in a Bottle, Symbiosis, Envision Festival, Beloved and many more, capturing the unity within diversity that each of these festivals encompass.
While most photos are seen in a digital medium these days, the publication of Dusty PlayGround will mark the first time that Lomax will be able to hold her photos in book form, feel the weight of their presence and the tactile sensation of turning each page. There is something lost in photography when looking at images on a back-lit screen. Like gathering around old family photo albums, leafing through the pages of Dusty PlayGround will evoke and inspire not just Lomax, but all those who will hold and treasure it.
The idea of Dusty PlayGround is to display the "quieter side" of Burning Man. Often perceived as many things that seem to oppose what society deems as "kid friendly," the parents of The Playa believe that there is no better place to activate and nurture the imagination. While many of the structures and attractions can be enjoyed by both adults and children, there are several ways to create one's own, family friendly experience. The Black Rock City community as a whole always welcomes children, as they are the future of this culture and a fixture of the overall experience.
The freedom of the Burning Man mentality fosters creation, imagination, innovation, appreciation and exploration. It can bring families closer together, heal discord and offer an altogether cathartic experience. Through the eyes of a child, Burning Man is a place of utter freedom of expression, a place to play and grow, live and experience, learn and love, away from judgement and expectation. For adults, it often brings out their inner child creating a truly ageless dimension where joy is its official language.
We want our children to know that what they imagine can be realized. On The Playa, not only do they see this as possible, but they also get to experience the imagination of others. We see it as getting to step into a wondrous picture book. Indie still talks about the people she met, the friends she made and the art she encountered. This is an experience that we could not provide on our own. At Burning Man, where people are so generous with their art and imagination, stepping into another world is possible. All this, coupled with the respect of personal space displayed by the community, makes for an unparalleled experience.
- Tim and Sarah, parents of Indie in the dragon cape
Recently funded on Kickstarter, Dusty PlayGround will be an 11 x 11 inch, 96 page, hardcover photo book that is printed on FSC-certified, recycled paper. Raising $7,776 over her $40,000 goal, Lomax promises to donate 2 percent of the funds to Burners Without Borders, a non-profit organization that provides disaster relief and community initiatives worldwide.
Set to publish in June 2016, Lomax's goal is to showcase not only the children of Burning Man, but also the elders. While the children of Black Rock City are the center of Dusty PlayGround, the elders are their sun rays, wholly encompassing each child in love and light. The well-trained eye and photographic instinct of Zipporah Lomax is what makes her images so special. Known for "her sensitivity for quiet subtlety," she has a gift for capturing some of the most simple and intimate joys shared between families. Burning Man is so much more than just an escapist party in the desert. Now a multi-generational event of all cultural backgrounds and lifestyles, there is no use in describing what it is nor what it is not -- it simply is, and can only be understood through being there both physically and spiritually.
Dusty PlayGround Pre-order: www.dustyplayground.com
Zipporah Lomax Website: www.zipporahlomax.com
Zipporah Lomax Facebook: www.facebook.com/zipporahphoto