Dirt on Bishop

About the mural

Inscribed with a land title, the wall-tablet unwraps from the curved packed soil like the peel of an orange. This layered core sample of Bishop earth represents a sedimentary survey of the town’s heritage.

Digging down through the bullets, spurs, horseshoes, railroad spikes, rusted water valves, and old keys, we unlock different parts of Bishop’s recent history. Following the Bristlecone pine roots we dig deeper: past Paiute arrowheads and beads, through fossilized Mammoth tusks and Saber-tooth skulls.

Delving even lower we pass fossils of ancient roots, prehistoric leaves and Trilobites to reach layers that span back to the beginning of our world. Like comparing the thickness of the deed to the land behind it, the European story here is only a chapter of the history book.

On the lighter side, a dog named Hunter from the floor above helps to ‘ground’ this piece as he sniffs the air for a bone, but picks up the scent of an eon.

Commissioned by // Bishop Mural Society

Site // California’s Eastern Sierra – Bishop, CA

Address // 230 West Line Street, Bishop, CA 93514

Year // 2004

Other views

jack russell terrier dog in 3d mural by john pugh in bishop california
land survey on wall tablet part of trompe loeil mural by artist john pugh in bishop california

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