The Luminous Veil, Visions of Sanctuary
Seeking Grace
Signs & Symbols

The photographs in the The Luminous Veil, Visions of Sanctuary developed out of an exploration of urban parks and gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area. After several years photographing on the streets of the city I started seeking out parks and public gardens where I found a sense of quiet and tranquility that blocked out the city's nervous energy. I was drawn to the feeling of privacy in these spaces that felt secret and hidden from the outside world.

I photographed in the fog because it emphasized the sheltering aspect of the parks and lent a sense of mystery to the landscape. The parks, some as small as a city block, others encompassing an entire mountain, are natural but man made at the same time. One feels a sense of escape but still feels protected by the familiar. It is the transition between the familiar and the unknown that I wanted to capture. Some mystics believe there is a thin space in certain places where the gulf between us and the divine is not so wide. It is that sense of presence that I wanted to communicate. The idea that in the midst of our busy and challenging lives there is sanctuary that we can tap into for soothing and strength.

The images in Seeking Grace, explore the sense of spirit found in sacred spaces. I am photographing in churches, temples, graveyards, and gardens, places we visit to interact with the divine. Each image captures the essence of that mystical experience many people seek, a moment of transcendence.

I am photographing these scenes with a Holga camera. A Holga is an inexpensive medium format plastic camera with few adjustments. Its lack of precision makes the image making process unpredictable, and the imperfections of the plastic lens soften and distort the image allowing it to transcend the object at hand. Solid statues become soft and fleshy, a tree trunk feels almost human, and light seems tactile.

The line between what is seen and what is felt is illusive. In our present world where fear seems to dominate the senses, communing with a sense of spirit seems almost necessary for survival. These images are a search for that sense of spirit and an attempt to make it tangible.

As a photographer I have always enjoyed being an observer and searching for extraordinary scenes in my everyday surroundings. Signs & Symbols is a collection of images that I've made over the years. Some were made as I took my morning walk, others were taken on family vacations. I have found that as I explore the world with patience and a critical eye I discover amazing and beautiful images, scenes that transcend the familiar. It is the search for and the discovery of those hidden surprises that inspires me to make photographs. Successfully documenting and revealing these treasures to others gives me joy.

The craft of photography has always been important to me and it is an intricate part of my photographs. Using traditional photographic methods, each piece is carefully crafted from negative to print. It is my hope that the viewer can find a sense of peace and self reflection in these photographs. To me they are a metaphor for the internal search for spiritual comfort and safety, and a desire to transcend the ordinary in an attempt to experience the mystical.