Consider my images a pilgrimage – into nature. A special kind of journey, a pilgrimage is an adventure into the unknown, followed by a return to the known.
The reenactments of pilgrimage revives ancestral echoes (both genetic and cultural) within us. That others have successfully gone before us gives us comfort that it can be accomplished; perhaps on our own, perhaps with the aid of others, perhaps with divine guidance.
Often the place reveals the way. You follow. Moving in unquestioning surrender. You leave the old and are reborn in the new. You are revived. Whether through purging during the journey or the solace of sanctuary found at the destination – healing emerges. You find answers to questions you never even knew you had. You find new questions.
A pilgrimage is a special life within a life. In these moments we feel most alive. We instinctively know who we are, where we stand, why we live, and what we live for. The immensity of the moment makes it fleeting to our rational minds. But it gets into the fiber of our beings. We carry it with us wherever we go – forevermore.
Escape. Transport. Adversity. Trial. Perseverance. Resourcefulness. Innovation. Surrender. Release. Peace. Tranquility. Solace. Rest. Contemplation. Perspective. Inspiration. Discovery. Connection. Synthesis. Reintegration. Revival. Restoration. These are among the things found on pilgrimage. They are not so much found as actively made.
There are many types of pilgrimages. Not all pilgrimages are religious, mapped, or planned. Modern secular pilgrims go on less religious but no less spiritual journeys, seemingly undirected, the ways and passages comparatively tenuous, but offering opportunities for creative discovery unburdened by convention. If these travelers rise to the challenge of articulating their findings, the unconventional rewards yielded may even exceed those found on more traditional paths.
The photographs we collect on our journeys before, during, and after, play vital roles in our experience of our personal pilgrimages. They offer invitations to plot real and imagined adventures. They help us frame goals and make plans for our voyages. They record the stages and details of our crossings. They make tangible our invisible subjective experiences. They hold still and preserve what passes with time, so we can visit it again.
Our mementos, touchstones of journeys made, offer tangible testimony for ourselves and for others, opportunities for re-visitation that rekindle the fires of inspiration, which may dwindle upon re-immersion in the mundane and the routine. And even if we, or others, never make the journey, we are nonetheless reinvigorated.
You never return the same from a sacred journey. And that’s the point.
My art is born out of my special journeys into nature and it invites others to make their own.
Thank you for taking this journey with me.