During her 40 years of photographing the landscape and nature, Kippra D. Hopper has captured those scenes that especially reveal the beauty of her home in West Texas: canyonlands, big skies, prairies and the borderlands of Big Bend. The author and photographer is keenly interested in the history and natural history of the land, particularly in the American Southwest. She also has photographed extensively in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona.
Image by Marcia M. Abbott
A native of West Texas, she is a Texas Tech University graduate with degrees in journalism and women’s and gender studies. She is the author of two books about art: “A Meditation of Fire” and “Women Artists of West Texas.”
A Certified Texas Master Naturalist, she documents the life of the Llano Estacado and the Southern Great Plains in images of wildflowers, buttes, geological layers, white puffy, cloudy skies, and prairie dogs and jackrabbits. Nature teaches design, symmetry, patterns, lines, shapes, colors, and perspectives, and this is apparent in Hopper’s work. Her interest is in the intersection of human and natural history where inhabitants have an identity of being a part of a place with an attachment to nature, the land, and “a sense of place.”
These places have influenced her life’s work. She studies natural beauty and understands the importance of place in creative endeavors. She loves the open skies, vistas, character and beauty of the, sometimes, stark landscape of West Texas. She defines her experience of West Texas as being that western part of the state that begins in the Panhandle and ends in the Big Bend.
With an appreciation of the idea of place, her work shows us that the point of life is not where one lives, but how one lives. Seeing a landscape takes a patient eye, a vision of searching for the beauty that exists in and of itself, it its own context, in all of nature.
A familiar landscape often projects a strong sense of place, which supports our sense of personal identity, or who we know ourselves to be. A sense of place is gained only when one is deeply involved with a land and comes to know that one place and its inhabitants intimately. A sense of place protects a region’s cultural heritage and promotes cultural awareness.
Hopper has created a nesting place in this wind-swept, ancient, amazing, wide-open, independent, rugged beautiful West Texas and her canyons, horizons, dirt roads, and unique and exceptional beauty.