Heart Vessel

 Posted by on December 29, 2011  Add comments
Dec 292011
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A lightness of being; opening up to possibility; surrender.

Capture and post production were some distance apart in creating this work but the state of mind was part of a continuum – indeed a classic example of the spiral nature of our journey. At the time I was collecting material for this image, although I could not see the endpoint, I knew that there would be something that would reveal itself in the future and I just should trust that the creative path would open if I didn't push it.  The most satisfying work is when it just comes to you;  something that only happens when one stops trying; stops being driven by the mind rather than the heart.

When I first started photographing, capture was very much a response driven activity. I used the camera to show me what moved me. My problem was that what I saw and felt was never quite the same when I viewed the printed photograph, and other people certainly didn't get it. Dare I compare myself in any way to the great Ansel Adams? I was delighted to read recently that one of his greatest issues in his early photography was to translate what he felt and saw into a form that others' could read as well as he. Really? So he was human after all.

I wanted other people to see what I saw, to feel what I felt. So I pursued knowledge of the technical kind, endeavouring to research my way to enlightenment. I put my work up for “judgement” in order to learn from the advice of others. This works admirably for some, enabling them to climb to greater and greater heights. Problem was it just didn't work for me. The block was not learning enough; it was learning too much. I had judges in my head, on my shoulder and in my viewfinder. I had book pages flipping past my eyes and in my ears; digital bytes chasing each other around my brain.

I still do. But I have learnt to tidy the attic in my head. To ask for quiet when I need it. To stop, look, and listen. And most of all to trust. Trust that what I do is the right thing for me to do; I don't need to make other peoples' photographs. I don't need to photograph every minute and every subject; something will tell me when it is time to pick up the camera. Trust that by slowing down, stopping and surrendering enlightenment will come. Trust that everything I have ever seen, heard, tasted, touched and smelt; every experience I have had until that moment will have some bearing on the works that I make and that it will be just the experience I needed.

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  4 Responses to “Heart Vessel”

  1. At last someone who sees what I see. Absolutely awesome Jen, as soon as I saw the post my heart flew out of my body and embraced your image. I’m not even going to try and validate that statement anymore than that, to me that is what an artist does for other people, make the connection of kindred spirits. So beautiful.

  2. Stunning image Jen.

    But as good as the picture is,the words in this post top it.

    That last paragraph is probably the best summary on why and how to make important pictures that I have heard. Thank you

  3. I have to agree with Ian, the last paragraph says it all, by doing just as you say you will capture the emotion of the moment. Well done & happy new year to you & your family.

  4. Great Jenny. Your work does speak to those who are listening. Always enlightening.

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