Earth Water Sky series
These images embody a lifelong search for a way to express my yearning and quest for spiritual freedom. I started making the images in this collection around 2008-9. They reflect a fundamental shift in the way I've come to see the world. Most of my work up to that point revolved around photos of people. Although these people were often photographed in nature, they were definitely the subject. The shift happened gradually at first, one day I realized that I was photographing the natural world on it's own; without a 'supporting cast' of humans, and I realized that I was in love with this world and this kind of work. For me as a photographer and as a human being, the natural world feels limitless in it's potential; it's a matrix that contains all the narratives that interest me at the moment. I believe that the natural world deserves to be heard and interacted with respectfully as a living force.
49 imagesWe have a long and deep relationship with trees. Humanity has historically looked to trees for their healing properties and medicines. While we’ve made preparations from the leaves, bark or roots, humans have also known that to simply be in the presence of plant beings can be healing and can be ‘plant medicine'. Trees are potent living sources and symbols of spiritual and physical healing, regeneration, immortality and salvation. Tree medicine also works on us at a deep psychological/spiritual level beyond our awareness; trees have been seen as channels for divine energy for millennia. I believe we are still touched by that ancient world view even if we aren’t consciously aware of it. This can be seen in the recent phenomenon of Japanese ‘forest bathing’ now reaching the West, where people are guided into forests so they may be washed, cleansed and purified by the spiritual forces that pulsate through the woods in an all-encompassing unity – like a green baptism. The impetus behind this series comes from my empathy for Indigenous culture and spirituality - many thanks to the generous Indigenous elders and friends who've guided and taught me along the way. They shared with me ways and viewpoints that provided a roadmap that’s helped me to feel Spirit in my own culture and everywhere around me. Using this roadmap brought about a shift in my worldview – a shift that opened me to the beauty of nature again. Now I use photography as a tool to explore the raw elemental power of the natural world by visiting and re-visiting places I’m drawn to in order to be touched by their spiritual essence. I try to receive images from these sacred places that contain this essence so it may be shared with others.
30 imagesFor me Horizons represent new or unlimited possibilities. These images of Lake Ontario grew out of the ongoing work that I have done for an Indigenous organization here in Canada. During the time I have spent with this group, I have been fortunate to hear teachings that resonated with me while simultaneously revealing to me a worldview quite different from my own. This worldview was one centered on the primacy of relationships and connections. The teachings have given me a roadmap that has helped me find a way back to, a return to, the ancient memories of what it meant for me to be a human in relationship with a creation more vast then anything that I could imagine. In light of this new perspective, making this series of photographs became a process of return - of returning repeatedly to the same place by the Lake so that I could experience deeper levels of meaning, of relationship, of observing the light, water, clouds and the earth that make up the visual and spiritual aspects of the environment. The Lake took on a new meaning to me, as I now wanted to explore the spiritual essence of the place rather than construct an abstract 'narrative'. It became important for me to work in one place close to home and to sink roots as deeply as possible while immersing my heart and soul into the process. I became fully engaged. My commitment to showing the subtle and sometimes dramatic changes of the lake organically became a reflection and symbol of my shifting worldview. I want to share with viewers the sensations of seeing nature without, concepts or filters; letting her speak and providing an opportunity for us to connect directly with what is. The series is ongoing.
21 imagesAs children we were fascinated by clouds because we could see so much in them when our minds were in flight and connected to the natural world. Many indigenous cultures pay attention to the messages and images contained in and conveyed by clouds. They are simply beautiful and sometimes awesome to watch as their shapes shift and morph being blown by the wind. The sheer scale of clouds can be humbling and may bring us closer to the spiritual forces at work in Creation.
13 imagesThe elements make a powerful meeting at this site on the shore of Lake Ontario near downtown Toronto. The Ice adds to that feeling. Standing here it is easy to forget a city exists only minutes away. In ancient times the Celtic peoples saw the Earth, Water, and Sky as a sacred trinity that was afforded great respect and reverence—through it came the main essentials of life. The First Nations people of this area also had (and continue to have) a similar understanding. Although living in another time we can still connect with the power of these ancient elements. The photographs here are a selection from my long-term project that explores the spiritual aspects of the land.
19 imagesBlack and white images depicting the power of life force as the sleeping world of nature wakes up in Spring. These photos were made in High Park and Rouge Valley in the Greater Toronto area.