“Consciousness in photography comes out of an awakening to the interlocking interconnectedness of everything, from atoms to suns, space to time, light to dark, event to situation, man to Man, and Man to God.” Minor White, American fine art photographer (1908-1976)
Do you believe in the spirituality of art?
In the art world, someone is said to “have an eye” or have a gift for seeing an object for it’s true worth. I believe this gift is part of our spirituality, and that all of us are capable of this skill. It’s simply a matter of focus and discernment and grows with practice.
Does art have a “power”? Centuries ago, the colors used in paintings were made from powdered minerals and crystals, and other earthly materials, such as malachite and vermillion. These crystals were, and are, believed to possess spiritual and healing qualities, which could then influence the viewer’s perception according to the vibrations of Divine Inspiration flowing through the artist, and then through his or her artwork.
The painters of the Qi Qong schools understand this concept even today, and simply looking at their artwork is said to aid in healing.
Many twentieth century photographers follow this school of thought, also. Mentors such as Minor White, who taught his students to meditate before creating a photograph, said :
“Let the subject generate its own photograph. Become a camera. No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer it has chosen. Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence.”
Photographic art, compared to the antique arts of architecture and fine art, is a newer medium, yet I believe it carries the same spiritual qualities as these. When the artist allows the Divinity of an object, a person, or a place, to flow to him or her for that brief moment in time the artist’s Third Eye is awakened and the Light illuminates the soul. Then this Divine energy, the vibrations of that moment, are transported through the artist, through the camera, to the photograph, then to the viewer.
Just a little over a decade ago, I had the opportunity to live in the heart of France for a month. One weekend I drove to the Loire Valley and visited several chateaus and decided to photograph the beautiful area. The camera was new, a Canon Powershot, and something about the long, tree lined avenues approaching the castles on a winter sojourn set the mood. and I just let the camera guide me, a novice photographer, intuitively throughout the visit.
Upon returning to the US, I put the photographs aside until my Mom and a friend viewed them and suggested I enter at least one in a local art show. Their hunch was a good one, as the photograph “Sanctuary” received an award! And the memory of that time in France returns every time I practice letting the camera guide me. The Divine connection is with us always. We simply have to flip the switch on and allow it to be part of us.
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Aristotle