Sacred Space. ~ Susan Currie

Via on Aug 8, 2012

Sacred. It’s a mighty big word.

Once upon a time, the term was reserved primarily for religious settings.

The dictionary defines sacred as “highly valued” or “entitled to reverence or respect.” Less secular in these modern times, the adjective’s meaning is ever evolving, bearing a host of deeply personal renderings.

 

 

Its endless interpretations have long fascinated me…like the poet Mary Oliver, we all have our signature Five a.m. in the Pinewoods places—those interior and exterior spaces which invoke peace, receptivity and wonder.

For me, personally, when I think of hallowed ground, the vision of my 2X6 foot mat immediately surfaces. There, in my yoga practice, I feel at ease, untouchable and filled with a very natural sense of grace.

Venturing out of doors into the rain, the snow or the sunlight I experience a very similar vitality—the surf, the trees, the fresh air…the sweetest of elixirs—the parallels between the two environments are remarkable.

 

 

But, mostly it’s just that sense of being held that I find familiar to both settings. The weariness fades. A deep ability to listen surfaces. The soul is fed. Once again, I meet my luminosity.

As a photographer, I am continuously challenged and inspired by those opportunities to use my eyes to tell life’s authentic stories. And so, a natural calling came beckoning me to somehow employ my camera to visually document the undeniable intersections of these two spaces I identify as sacred.

 

 

From the Pacific Coast to the Berkshires, this pursuit found me capturing rich natural landscapes and textures, while simultaneously recording those brilliant moments savored deep within our beloved eight limbed tradition.

 

 

Through a creative process of then blending these images the parallels were brought to prominence.

And, in this collection, entitled sacred space, my inquiry quietly lead me back to what I sensed from the start. Something was remembered; my beloved eight limbed practice and the great outdoors—both settings bring me back home.

For me, that’s the essence of sacred.

 

 

I welcome and need the reminder that they are always available.

As with all of the images I create, the true honor comes in the chance to prompt an inquiry in others.

I am humbled by the possibility that these photographic meditations might spark individual explorations into these grounds where we each meet our luminosity…and the expression is within each of us.

 

susan currie has been photographing children, families and life in and around Andover, Massachusetts, for nearly fifteen years. She received her B.S. from the University of New Hampshire and has studied at the MA College of Art and Maine Media Workshops. Her work has been exhibited at the Yawkey Cancer Center at Mass General Hospital in Boston and most recently at the Photoplace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. Her images have been featured in the Boston Globe, the Lawrence Eagle Tribune, The Andover Townsman, elephant journal, Marmapoints and The Huffington Post. She has authored and self-published two books Make It Last and Wide Awake, both which celebrate the wonder of early childhood. In addition to her commissioned work, susan photographs older children awaiting adoption with the Mass Adoption Resource Exchange’s Heart Gallery. Although she remains quite inspired in her ongoing adventures as a portrait photographer, she met her muse when she discovered the practice of yoga. This ancient eight-limbed practice informs her artistry and life on a number of levels. On her mat as a yoga instructor and behind her lens she enjoys two front row seats to the fragility, power and beauty of the human spirit. She continues to document this view with her project  www.noplacelikehomeproject.com, which she co-created. susan credits Joyce Tenneson with whom she has studied personally as one of her greatest influences.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
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