When traveling, I'm often on the search for a meaningful experience and a meaningful image (not always at the same time or place). When visiting the spiritual/religious venues in the ancient Ethiopia town of Aksum, I noticed in the corner a woman at prayer before a lightly shrouded image of the Saint Mary the Virgin at, appropriately, the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. Light was streaming through a nearby window and I could feel, even from a distance, a fervent prayer being offered. A sharply focused, intense photograph would not convey what I was envisioning and what the woman was likely experiencing. Thus I slowed the shutter speed down as I created this image reflecting this time and place. Serendipity? Perhaps. A gift, indeed.
One of my photographs, "Let the Son Shine In," has been included in the first 2018 on-line exhibition of the Episcopal Church and Visual Arts. While the photo was created a number of years ago, it resonated with the curators in support of the theme "The Jesus Movement: Loving, Liberating, Life-Giving."
Ethiopia has been of intense interest to me for many years. The country's indigenous religion in the North - the Ethiopia Orthodox Church - and the indigenous tribes in the South - Alaba, Dorze, Karo, Hamer, Dassanech, Aari, and Mursi - have captured my imagination. While traveling to sub-Saharan Africa often means a safari, the cultural and spiritual traditions of this landlocked country spoke much louder. And off I went in January 2018.
Please join me in the St. Barnabas parish hall, 1187 Wyatt Way NW, Bainbridge Island, WA on Wednesday, May 23 at 7 pm for a visual presentation on this fascinating country and its people. You are welcome to bring a picnic or other food and/or beverages of your choice. There is no admission charge.
When I was leading a recent workshop at St. Andrews House on Hood Canal, I had the opportunity to view a new art installation by Sarah Jane, a talented and inspired artist who also serves as the Art Program Manager of the Grunewald Guild, Plain, Washington.
As described on the mere objects website: "Mere Objects is a participatory art project designed to honor and empower people who have experienced sexual violence, and to increase awareness of sexual violence within our communities. It was launched in October 2016 by artist and educator Sarah Jane, in collaboration with an advisory group of survivors of sexual violence."
It is a moving, sad, but enlightening art project dealing with an issue that is front and center today, but has been with us forever. I had the opportunity to photograph a small portion of the piece, adding a sense of motion to expand the universe of the piece to beyond just the 200 or so glass beads currently part of the exhibit. The photographs can be seen in the "Mere Objects" Gallery. And additional information can be found at: https://www.mereobjects.org/ It's an important project and I hope you take the opportunity to learn more about it.