• Cherish Marquez
Medium3D-rendered animation
CreditCopyright Cherish Marquez

They looked at me as they dug into the earth … They hit the rocks beneath the surface … I could feel the ground move beneath me … It shook once and then stopped … and then there was nothing left.”

Cherish Marquez’s Land is inspired by the Chihuahuan desert where she grew up. The desert sustains spiritual connection through its evolutionary processes, guided by memories of the ancestors who have walked its dirt for generations. Most think it void of life or treat it as a dumping ground, but it is home to a wide range of organisms who thrive within the sand. Desert plants evolve and adapt to survive within their ever-changing climate, and, as temperatures rise due to global warming, they are becoming even more resilient. Three adaptive strategies are the secret to their success: succulence, drought tolerance, and drought avoidance. Each of these strategies means survival in harsh terrain. These plants are the ultimate survivors. Their resiliency, their history, and their evolution inspired this animation, which speaks in the voice of the land itself.