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Center for Great Plains Studies


Dennis Stillings

I was born and raised in Valley City, North Dakota, with family ties to the areas of Kulm and Gackle in the Coteau region. My family left for Hutchinson, Minnesota, near Minneapolis, when I was 14, and after 50 years of being elsewhere, I returned to North Dakota in 2006 to retire. For me, there is no better photographic subject than the great empty silences of prairie landscapes. They can be tangibly, visibly, silent in a way that transcends the mere absence of sound. Energetic forms and rhythms reveal themselves in these landscapes like nowhere else, and the ubiquitous wabe-sabe...the accidental imperfections...arising from the traces of past human habitation adds a deep feeling of ancestral presence.

Prairie Images