I have been a photographer for long enough to avoid the ‘consumerist’ aspect of photography, it is an easy trap. I can see many sunsets, views, cloud formations, but not all of them draw me into photographing them. Occasionally I will ‘feel’ a powerful hill, an intriguing cloud formation or something in nature that overwhelms me with the need to capture it - this moment in time. When I look at the resulting image in the editing process, it will either still hold that essence or not. If it does, then I explore that essence deeper. Much as a writer's hand is 'directed by the muse.' My muse is the land that I have photographed.
These photographs offer the nurturing of a depth of being in relationship with our Earth.
Imagine a world in which people ask the country around them what it wanted and needed. Imagine if we sat and listened to what it has to say. It is something we can all attain, and I believe there is a genuine need and calling for us to aspire to. It has happened this way for hundreds of thousands of years within indigenous cultures who are masters of sustainability, memory, communication-connection to the Earth, the cosmos, the elements and ancestral intelligence.
I am a professional photographer, and recently I have been guided by EagleHeart, a Native American shaman, who motivates me to deepen these expressions and connections. He helps me to trust the intelligence of nature and encourages me to witness more than the eye can see,. He helps to strengthen the guidance I receive from ancestors, some of which are Native American who I remember sitting with me as a child and who now support me in expressing this work.
My journey with this photograph began in the call of it's recording. Captivated by the beautiful view as I was driving, with my camera by my side the ‘pull’ of this particular hill was enough for me to stop the car and take this photo from the roadside. Then I was immersed in it's beauty, I noted the bird passing into the frame where the image was forever preserved, confirming to me that there was something of significance not only in the place and time, but also my being part of this moment.
Strangely, I felt an underlying sense of sadness that was hard to ignore, I felt into it and by doing so, went on a deeper journey with this piece, this place. I felt the hill in the background 'holding' the land around it, nursing the trauma of the removal of the natural environment, the communities of life and people. Within this witnessing the energy began to strongly resonate and then shift into a lighter note. The elements within the image converged, as they did the sadness lifted, and the image appeared to shine. And it shone.
It taught me that It is our responsibility to feel deeper into the experience of the Country around us that is held within our own physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies, (whether we are aware of it or not), until we resonate something new. Something lighter, brighter and stronger that births a new relationship.
© Serana Hunt-Hughes