Available in the following sizes:
47 x 92 inches, Edition of 12
58 x 117 inches, Edition of 12
"To tell a story in a single photograph tends to require layers to the image and a carefully composed set. When I first saw this gallows, high in the mountains of Montana, I knew I had a prop, but the story around it would need some thought. There needed to be a twist.
Ostensibly, filming a public hanging in a frontier town is not the most appealing of concepts. If there is no context it could all be a little dark and macabre. Our starting premise in all that we do is to entertain rather than shock; we want to be playful long before we want to be earnest.
My revisionist take was to play on the idea that in this merciless and uncompromising era, there would be someone embracing the fact that justice had been done with the demise of the criminal. That person would be the lead in the image, rather the camera being focused on the gallows itself.
We chose American model Brooks Nader as the saloon girl who, for whatever reason, chose to celebrate the impending death. Brooks is smart and knew exactly how to play the role and introduce sexuality into a scene that otherwise could be all too sombre. I told her my camera was about to dive into the pages of a western storybook and all that really mattered was her look - it had to be right. She was perfect for the role that cold January morning.
My sense is that these occasions were all too frequent in the loosely governed Wild West. Despite the church in the background, nihilism was at the core of civilisation in this part of the world in 1890 and death was not an event in itself. Any given Sunday, something could happen and it would not normally be that good.
It looks like, on this Sunday, it was about to all kick off. If the real life Brooks Nader was in charge, the saloon would have a busy afternoon." - David Yarrow
Size 92 inches x 47 inches
Medium Archival Pigment Print / framed