I feel it is time to reconnect in this manner. My students have told me over the last several years how much they enjoy my facebook posts when I share art, photography, writing and thought that moves me. It has been a substitute for blogging but I have missed the introspection that this format demands. So….the restarted blog posts will commence.
Struck by another layer, another type of seeing…
Recently I was in Porto, Portugal, at the Serra Alves Museum. Walking into the first large gallery I was confronted with an installation by Olafur Eliasson. Immediately I said to myself “the earth is burning!” I can’t explain why it struck me so strongly…it is an installation of birch trees in a circle with a path through it. But there was something about the lighting that set my brain on fire and caused me to make the following series of photos. They are entirely unrecognizable from what the installation was…but still, I think I understood the intent.
The last image is my favorite at this time. But what is most important, and what prompted me to write this blog, is the following article I found today by the artist:
All along the artist was thinking of the effect of climate change and how each of us can help. Amazing. I hadn’t known of Olafur Eliasson (showing my considerable ignorance) and I didn’t know that the installation was his response to the grave challenges we face….but I GOT IT. On the deepest level there was an immediate communication and I was moved to interpret what I was feeling and try to show it in an image. This is what art can do for each of us. THIS is why I encourage my students to seek other forms of art, to ingest other images, sounds, smells….and most of all, to think deeply about what they are feeling and why/when they are moved to create an image.
The article also speaks to art revealing itself (to the artist) over a long period of time…years…a decade even, or more. Give yourself time to understand what you are doing and what you are trying to say. Go deeper. And then go deeper.
Finally, this poem resonated so deeply today about how and why I photograph:
“In this high place
it is as simple as this,
leave everything you know behind.
Step toward the cold surface,
say the old prayer of rough love
and open both arms.
Those who come with empty hands
will stare into the lake astonished,
there, in the cold light
reflecting pure snow
the true shape of your own face.”
— David Whyte
With gratitude for each of you and for Olafur Eliasson and David Whyte for sharing their being.
Please share with friends if you found value in this blog.
See you soon….Keron