Two Wings of Influence
by Cherie Westmoreland
On the wall, in my studio …in that space that my eyes wander to in the moments of reflection…is a 1944 black and white image entitled Mount Williamson, Sierra Nevada from Manzanar, California, by Ansel Adams.
The fine grasses in the foreground are in sharp focus; the shadow side of the large boulder directly in front of me is vivid in detail, and leads me via the light on its top edges, to the pathway of light through the boulder field and into the slanted light rays and nestled clouds in the arms of the high mountains.
This invitation of light spoke so deeply to me some 30 years ago.
It was the invitation to pursue photography that included a love of the grassy vacant lot down the street, a love of wild places and a relationship with the natural world filled, for me, with mystery, curiosity, connection, deep rest, and a creative vitality born of the felt-sense of being Home.
'Know this time in this place
Know this place as home
Hear one’s name spoken lightly
in the Call of things.'
Carolyn McDade, 1999
In his book Mirrors, Messages, Manifestations Minor White (1982) created
an autobiography of spirit…relationship…connectedness. Three statements he made accompanying three of his profoundly present moment black and white photographs have stayed with me and have informed my work as a photographic artist for some 20 years now:
Be still with yourself
Until the object of your attention
Affirms your presence.
No matter how slow the film
Spirit always stands still
long enough for the photographer
It has chosen.
Let the Subject generate its own Composition.