Beauty in Decay is a continuation along with the Butterfly Series in a larger project seeking Beauty in Death. These images contain beautiful scenery offered up by mother nature, superimposed within decorative pieces of petrified wood. I have always loved driftwood, tree stumps, sticks and fallen branches. Trees can grow on a very different timescale than us humans; some can live for thousands of years. They offer an endless source of metaphors and symbolism. What I find particularly intriguing about trees is their beauty and versatility even after their own death.
The Butterfly Series is part of a larger project seeking Beauty in Death. These photographs were created using decomposing dead butterflies. Through an iterative process, I worked towards bringing out their unique features, extracting and enhancing colours and organic shapes from the existing photographic information, and creating a beautiful, graphically striking finished art.
The Private Impact series asks each of us to take account of our individual impact on the environment. It is composed as collage made from photographs of body parts of a single individual, with light and dark pieces representative of the potential for positive or negative impact from our choices. We make an incredible amount of choices every single day - recycle, take transit, buy new clothes, a new phone, upgrade your microwave, turn on the air conditioning, throw away old shoes, skip composting this week, and so on. The first step to making a change is to take account of these decisions and thereby improve our awareness of how much potential for impact we have, even on an individual level.
I created the Imagination Series to push the limits of my own creativity. The central theme is the process of creating. I start by photographing the building blocks - pieces of driftwood and naturally fallen antlers. Next, I allow my imagination to play freely and create objects without the pre-determined boundaries of a final goal. I use my intuition to guide the work towards a final creation, and then fine tune the digital collage to complete each piece. The resulting series showcases my subconscious themes of inspiration - living creatures, the beauty of nature, and the practice of mindful observation.
This series is inspired by my background in Applied Mathematics. In particular, by the wave equation, which can describe movement, sound, vibration. I have applied these concepts to serene landscape views, with the intention to see nature as a dynamic, changing, living thing. I have chosen to treat these photographs as almost binary black and white versions of the scenery, in order to isolate the dynamics presented by its organic geometry. The intention of this series is to inspire the viewer to grow a stronger personal connection with nature, and strengthen the respect nature deserves from humans.
Scenes from Harrison, BC and Whistler, BC, shot during two back-to-back mini vacations I took.
I combined two extreme views I have of myself - the mad scientist, and the spiritually evolved, nature connected, mindfulness practicing artist. I have always been the former, but the latter is something I still strive to see myself as with every project I do. I methodically sat on a bench in my back yard and stared at the bark of an old tree five feet in front of me. I photographed it. I looked at the photographs. I started seeing images in my mind that I am familiar with, that my brain is bringing forth as close matches to these photographs. I was seeing lots of biology and informatics related topics - histology slides, heat maps of data analysis, and mathematical equations computed over a two dimensional domain.
I used this as a push to dissect and study tree texture by taking pieces apart and putting them back together in various ways - the most rudimentary of science approaches. Through this process I felt more grounded, more connected with nature. I found this rather surprising at first, and decided to nourish this connection by furthering my project and identifying nature as its own entity. An entitiy with a face and a heart.
The century old human condition, explored through a still life lens. Through stillness, we can perhaps expand our perspective. These photographs are a study of a few aspects of being an element of society.
The chess piece explores social anxiety. Participating in social events helps us grow socially and form connections with others, but can also bring into play anxiety, expose status differences, and encourage division.
The second work in the series is about partnership. Here I examine the balance of support versus dependence. Financial independence is something I was raised to value greatly. Emotional support is something I thought I never required. Yet, today, I find myself valuing the latter more than the former.
A broken heart - time heals some wounds. Is it better to have loved and lost? Does a broken heart always become stronger? This piece, for me, represents a continued struggle (or triumph) of finding self love.
Isolation, clarity, independence, peace, quiet. Most of my time is spent in my home, working on my art. I end up being quite isolated from other humans. Mostly, I love it.
Social masks. Expectations to wear one, opportunity to put one on as needed to protect one self. Frankly, it is exhausting. The older we get, the more we lay the mask down. If I wasn't completely creeped out by guns, I would be the proverbial old man, sitting in a rocking chair out front, pointing a shotgun at the neighbourhood kids and yelling "Stay off my lawn!"
Strings. Working for the man. It's easy to despise the government. And it's just as easy to love the government for all social benefits we so readily accept as entitlement.
This series is perhaps the best example of how I use photography to practice mindfulness. I love this old set of silverware. With my camera, I got to intimately know every piece, up close and personal. Play up every spot, under varying light to play with the tones, with all intricate detail. Then, on the computer, I let my brain have free reign to come up with the creatures it wanted to come up with, giving my mind a break from all other thoughts and worries. My ultimate self therapy.
Puzzle inspired the Imagination series. I had been staring and thinking about the base of a rather interesting air plant vase, and thinking how it reminds me of a piece of a puzzle. I wondered what other pieces of that puzzle set might look like. So, I photographed it from a variety of angles and positions, studied it carefully, and began collaging together puzzle pieces. As I was working on this goal, I began seeing faces and limbs in these works. This led to the rather quick evolution of the project to play with the pieces, take a step back and allow myself to see something different, and then refine it into a final work.