Nothing brings home the beauty and power of the world that we live in like walking. Moving into our bodies, we embody the truth that as artists we are to make a ‘body of work’.
Walking in this World | Julia Cameron
A self-taught photographic artist, I have followed Cameron’s advice for several years now, walking—as often and as far as I can—mostly around and about my home in south-east Scotland but sometimes further afield as well. This practice has become an intrinsic part of my identity and affords me a powerful connection to the countryside and community I inhabit.
The images I collect along the way are often representational, a visual attempt to capture the essence of the interaction I experience on each journey, whether that is with the landscape itself or a person or animal I encounter. I am drawn to the abstract—shape, texture, colour, light, shadow—and the potential these offer for seeing beyond the obvious into the deeper patterns and rhythms that form in the world around us. My images remain unedited and unfiltered—the complexities of photoshop elude me—and I am more than rewarded by the honesty and integrity of the ones that I choose to keep.
I have come to words later in life. As a child I wrote—simple poems and ingenuous prose—but life, as it so often does, intervened and the creative impulse faded. I am now at a time when there is time—to read, to study and maybe even to pursue my own writing again.
In the meantime, I find myself increasingly immersed in the words of a range of profoundly interesting writers and thinkers whose rich, complex understandings and simple, salient observations are bringing a depth and clarity to my own experience of life that has been sorely missing.
“But whatever I am called, it doesn’t alter the fact that whoever is a poet and a scholar loves the world more than all others do. The fact is that it is much more difficult to be a poet and write poetry about the world than it is to be a man and live out in the world. You hump rocks for next to no pay and have lost your livelihood to thieves, but the poet is the emotion of the world, and it is in the poet that all men suffer.”
World Light | Halldor Laxness