by Scott Heffernan:
If you live near Salt Lake City, Utah, you've probably at least heard of the Gilgal Sculpture Garden (or Gilgal Gardens). If you've never been to this stunningly strange spectacle, I highly recommend a visit.
Growing up in the 1980s, we knew this place as Mormon Land. We didn't know much else. We'd go in the middle of the night and had to hop a fence to get to it. With our flashlights we could make out a sphinx with Joseph Smith's face, some creepy quotes, and a guy wearing brick pants. It felt very spooky, dangerous, and thrilling!
Gilgal was built by an eccentric Mormon Bishop named Thomas Child starting in 1945, purchased by a neighbor upon his death in 1963, then in the year 2000, sold to a group whose mission is to preserve and restore the garden. Gilgal Sculpture Garden is now a city park and open to the public.
I took these photographs in 2005. I shot the garden at night because I wanted to recreate the mystery and angst that surrounded it for me as a kid. Very long exposures brought out the peculiar purple color of the sky.
Scott Heffernan is an artist, designer, and photographer living in Seattle. He works on the creative team at Archie McPhee, doing all manner of strange things. He grew up a child of the 80s in Salt Lake City and loves skateboarding, toys, and thrifting. He served a mission in England/Wales and has a degree in American Sign Language from the University of Utah. He has one wife and two kids. Twitter: @ScottHeffernan. Tumblr: ScottHeff.tumblr.com.
Image credit: Scott Heffernan (used with permission).