Andrew Moore's Dirt Meridian is an aerial survey of the American landscape along the 100th parallel, the line of longitude that takes in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. For the most part, this is spectacular open landscape, often dismissed by coast dwellers as 'Flyover Country' – the great sweeps of flat farmland and prairie that no-one deems important enough to visit, let alone drive through.
Moore's journey runs the length of this north-south line, and was chronicled with a combination of traditional large-format landscape photography and a specially developed aerial survey, using a wing-mounted digital camera to gain a unique perspective on the landscape, thanks to the flying skills of Doug Dean. The project has been ten years in the making, during which time Moore has befriended and photographed the lives of many communities living along the line, as well as the drama and majesty of the countryside they inhabit.
At times it is a dusty, bleak working landscape, with the ruins of past lives all too visible. At others, the contours rise dramatically, and farmland is backed up tight against natural splendour. But mostly, this is a prairie and desert landscape, arid and flat, scoured by dust storms with little rainfall or respite. The 100th meridian remains geographically and psychologically significant, a demarcation that splits the US in two. For all the decades of progress that have followed since the railroad first bisected this countryside in the 19th century, the people who live here and who stand before Moore's camera are still very much pioneers, far removed from our everyday experience. These images convey a strong sense of atmosphere, place and personality, a heartland that is strangely detached from the rest of the country on either side of it.