cardwell_280Since the current economic crisis, poverty and unemployment in Colorado has soared. As in other places across the globe, there has been a sharp resurgence in gold mining as a source of income in the state. This ‘gold rush’ is reminiscent of the Great Depression of 1929, when people supported themselves in the same way, extracting more gold from the ground than in the whole of the first gold rush of the late 1850s.

With the price of gold now at a record level per ounce, it’s clear that people are investing in gold as a commodity impervious to the turbulence of the international markets. With no sign of demand slowing it seems that the new gold rush in Colorado and throughout the world is only set to grow in strength.

The following series of portraits and landscapes were taken between June 2010 – August 2011 in Colorado, the aim being to capture a phenomenon that is both starkly contemporary and reminiscent of the mythic Wild West.

Jon Cardwell