contemplating Nature and Peace of Mind
“Something happens to me whenever I enter a church or a cathedral: I get a peculiar feeling of sadness, an urge to burst into tears, almost. It’s not necessarily a negative feeling, I usually welcome it because it’s followed by a profound sense of relief, of peace of mind; I sit down, close my eyes and draw a deep breath. And… I feel as if I’ve finally come home, I feel at peace.
More or less the same thing occurs when I’m walking in a forest. There the feeling is a bit harder to come by, as I’m usually walking the dog, in a pursuit of exercise and fresh air. But the instant I stop to look around, to touch a tree, to listen to the birds I can hear but not yet see, breathe in the green smell of moss and leaves… There it is again; the feeling of being where I should be, securely connected, and serene.
Man’s striving to reach Heaven can easily be traced in the architecture of the cathedral. The same upward tendency is found in nature, and I wanted to capture the two, together. Standing under a vaulted dome in a church in rural Spain, sensing the aim upwards, nearer to God and Heaven, or gazing through the canopy of trees in a Swedish forest catching a glimpse of the unattainable infinity, and then conveying this in pictures has been an ongoing project for the past couple of years. Through my photographs, printed layered one on top of the other, I try to recreate my sensation of a sanctuary for the soul.
The sanctuary, the safe haven of the church, of the glade in the woods, bring me a peace I’ve only felt in a few other instances; when I work on my art, when I dance or meditate, or even when giving a massage. To me that peace of mind suggests that I for at least in one tiny instance am connected. Connected with myself and my scattered selves, but also with something much more vast. Depending on who is telling it, that vastness is God, or the Universal Life Force, or The Absolute Being.
Personally, I feel no need to put a name to this vastness. I can only share my pictures, in the hope that my own special feeling is conveyed to the viewer.”