Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Toward perennial truths, away from the ephemeral, firm flesh of youth

I just devised the following theme for an extensive photography exhibit, coming up at the end of the year, at the Epsom Public Library.  But it wasn't me; it was my unconscious mind. As I shifted through my archives I found myself assembling certain seemingly, disparate images, which if juxtapositioned together, spoke to each other.

Still, I was surprised at how much work it took, adding and subtracting, until I settled on my final candidates.  When I finally stood back to admire my work, I discovered that my combined images told another, more inclusive tale.

The bigger story my photographs tell – but neglected to clue me in about – is that I have grown old. The beauty I am drawn to now is not pristine, unblemished perfection but elements worn and eroded by age and hard use: Subject matter more like me. The journey I am on now is more toward perennial truth not the ephemeral, firm flesh of youth.

Here's an example of one of my pairings: A straight, unmanipulated photo of a tree stump in a coastal rainforest in Oregon which I entitled "The Shaman:"
"The Shaman"
CC Jean Stimmell: September 1913
which I paired with a merged photograph I made this year of a hawk from Squam Lake and a stump from the Boscowen Town Forest:
"Tree Hawk"
CC Jean Stimmell: May 2016
And what, you may ask, do these two images have in common?

To me, this pairing symbolizes the resurgence of "The Great Spirit" in the recent worldwide movement back toward sustainability and indigenous living.  The Great Spirit, of course, is the  sacred term for the universal spiritual force at the basis of Native American and First Nation culture. According to Lakota activist Russell Means – and I agree – a better translation would be The Great Mystery.

Yes, that what this pairing of images are all about: Reveling in The Great Mystery of life!






Post a Comment