Following in the footsteps of settlers, gold seekers and hippies of decades past, Jack Latham retraced the Oregon Trail for his debut photobook, A Pink Flamingo
The plastic flamingo was designed in 1957 by Don Featherstone. Gloriously kitsch and garishly pink, the garden ornament fast became an icon of Americana. “People would stick it in their astroturf lawn, by their white picket fence, and it was a way of exoticising their landscape,” says Welsh documentary photographer Jack Latham.
His debut book takes its title from Featherstone’s design that became a pop culture classic. “I saw the flamingo almost as a parody of the American flag,” Latham explains. “When America planted the flag in the moon, they were saying, this is my land. When people followed the Oregon Trail, moving east to west, they foisted a flamingo in their gardens as though to say, this is my home.”
A Pink Flamingo takes us on a melancholic, visual journey along the Oregon Trail, a historic route established in the 1830s by fur traders. Since then hundreds of thousands of settlers, missionaries, farmers and gold seekers have trampled across the trail from Missouri to Oregon in search of a better life.
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