Meet North + Nomad: A Traveling Creative Duo from NYC #Hamspiration

A collaborative project by Simon Biswas + Karen Nagy

In September 2014 we left New York City to travel, see new places, and get inspired to make our own work. In the last five months on the road, we’ve slept in a Cobb dome in 9-degree weather at a medicinal herb farm, untangled a buck from a barbed wire fence in West Texas on Christmas Day and explored secret caves in The Land of Enchantment.

north & nomad

North & Nomad

River Whyless – Life Crisis Music Video
While we were passing through Asheville, we saw indie folk band River Whyless perform at the Highland Brewery Cold Mountain release party, and were soon collaborating with the local musicians to shoot a music video for their new single, Life Crisis. We spent several days running around the mountains of North Carolina, filming at a medicinal herb farm, apothecary and animal sanctuary where we were able to wrangle some snakes and owls for the shoot.

North & Nomad

A Strange Christmas to Remember 
It was Christmas Day and we were barreling through West Texas at 75-miles-an-hour when we realized we were a little lost; we abruptly pulled off onto a dusty road to regroup and dig out the GPS. We saw this large, buck tangled in the barbed wire fence, panicking, and we quickly tried pry the fence apart. We freed his leg, and he collapsed, then sprinted, three-legged, across the field and out of sight.

Marfa Clouds
Desert Vibes in Marfa 
We had climbed into our sleeping bags in the back of our car during a snowstorm in Marfa, Texas, and when we woke up our breath had frozen into a thick layer of ice on all of the windows. When we’d finally dug ourselves out of the ice ball, we set off to photograph the Marfa Prada store in the early morning light. While driving out on US-90W towards Valentine, Texas, the last of the winter storm was burning off as the desert was heating up, producing this glowing, wispy fog over the shining highway.

Oh! Sandstone.
Pilgrimage to the Wilderness Shrines 
When we arrived in Northern New Mexico, we set out to find Ra Paulette’s mystical sandstone caves; they are amazingly intricate works of art, but their locations are notoriously secretive. After some Internet digging and phone calls and two days of driving around the high desert, we found two of these wilderness shrines, including a privately commissioned cave that featured an entire underground home, and the “Tree of Human Kindness,” a 30-foot tall elaborately sculpted trunk in the middle of a large chamber.

Creole Nature Trail
Cruising the Creole Nature Trail 
After leaving New Orleans we headed southwest into the bayou, cruising along the Creole Nature Trail past homes on stilts and hundreds of pelicans and cormorants. At one point in Cameron, Louisiana, the highway ended and we drove our car onto a small ferry to cross the large inlet from the Gulf of Mexico; we spotted dolphins in the water, and when we reached dry land on the other side, we soon found ourselves in oil country.

Along our journey, we’ve been honored to meet with National Geographic and The Washington Post in DC, Madwell in Boulder, as well as Riposte, Image Brew, Cultivator, and West Work Studios in Denver. We are headed to LA next, where we hope to meet with DK, 72 & Sunny, Pulse Films, TBWA, and anyone else we can get a hold of.

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