Artist Statement – Humanity Series
A sound work of art is captivating each time it is viewed. Such a work has the ability to produce an array of responses from the viewer and the gift to form a relationship with them. Through my work I wish to encourage a dialogue about the beauty, diversity and hardship of our inter-locking world. The more meaning born in my images, the deeper that dialogue may be. And the hope is that the dialogue will initiate some interest in the larger picture of aiding humanity.
During the past 25 years, I have visited and documented in 70 countries on six continents. I am keenly interested in the different ways in which people find meaning in their lives, how an individual explores his or her existence through philosophy, religion or tradition. I believe that human forms are as engaging and mysterious as the lives they lead.
Each image is made with reverence for the subject. I want a person to feel at ease with me so that they remain themselves and are unchanged by a new or foreign element such as a stranger (myself) or a camera. In order for me to photograph a person in the unaffected environment of self there must be a trust between us. Without this, a stirring image cannot be created.
I hold translators in high regard – often they are my initial verbal contact and my voice with my subject. Equally, they help me tell another’s story. I want the people I am photographing to understand who I am and what my purpose is. Their permission and understanding of my respect for them are important. It is a magnificent feeling to be invited in to another’s private world, and through this invitation I am offered access to his or her history. This intimate connection is what my work thrives on.
Photography is more than art; it is knowledge. In my genre of photography, I rely on my intuition and sensitivity coupled with my usage of the camera as a means to document lives, and preserve moments of intense emotion and dignity. I aim to enhance my viewers’ awareness and engage them in a visual journey that is also a questioning of our existence. I want to welcome them into the exploration of our mysterious existence with a spirit of importance. And astonishment. And hope.