Artist Ra Paulette has hand-carved elaborate and awe-inspiring caves deep into the rock faces of New Mexico for more than a decade. Making a daily trek into the sandstone mesas of New Mexico, Paulette crafts these magnificent caverns completely on his own with only simple hand tools. To adorn the walls, he blends his own unique infusion of organic-looking shapes and abstract, interlocking patterns. These forms come to life by the natural light streaming through channels dug into the ceilings and walls.
Paulette began digging caves as commission work, but he has since started working on his own and is currently engaged in a single ten-year project. Describing the exercise of carving as “the dance of digging,” he sees not only the space as expressive, but also the process. At the end of each year-long work, Paulette leaves us with labyrinthine halls he hopes will inspire contemplation, combining an inner and outer journey.