Meditations of Nature
The grandeur of Nature is something that has been praised by the greatest photographers, writers, painters, and philosophers throughout human history. It’s essence and experiences have been masterfully rediscovered and reproduced by the likes of Ansel Adams, John Muir, the Impressionists, and the Pantheistic philosophy of Baruch Spinoza, which attributed all things in Nature to the concept of divinity.
“The mind of god is all the mentality that is scattered over space
and time, the diffused consciousness that animates the world.”-Spinoza
I’ve been searching for a way to, once again, capture the essence and experience of Nature since I first picked up a camera. But I never truly understood what that entailed, or how to embody Nature’s reality into a photograph. The modern landscape photograph does little to bring a viewer closer to Nature, it merely showcases a representation; and while this may have awed viewers a half century ago, our present world is oversaturated with wilderness photography, so it does little but remind those viewers of Nature’s existence. After studying sacred geometry, I became fascinated with the Mandala, specifically making them from photographs I captured of the natural world. The Mandala is a Hindu and Buddhist art form that uses symmetry, patterns, and imagery to create a visual representation of the universe and everything within it.
Similarly, this project uses the Mandala concept to produce visual representations of the California wilderness, specifically focusing on the coastal, mountain, and desert ecosystems. Utilizing the natural elements (Earth, Air, Water, Fire) in each photograph, these images are created with patterns, shapes, colors, and contrast, combining them to produce visual stimuli that reflect the experience of being in Nature; whether that is watching the sun set in a fiery blaze among the entangled outstretched arms of the Joshua Trees, or staring out into Yosemite Valley, watching the rain clouds quickly gather and darken, with the distant roaring sound of Bridalveil Fall only silenced by the deafening thunder.
“In all things of Nature, there is something of the marvelous.” -Aristotle
*These Mandalas of abstraction, or as I’ve come to call them, kaleidoSCAPES, are intended to be looked at deeply for an extended period of time. Allow your eyes to relax and take in each image as a whole before getting closer to inspect the fragmented photographs that were used in creation.