Dedicated to the memory of my beloved sister Pamela M. Bernard.
punjabi man_ amristar, india / a wandering spirit finds solace through a lens in a global passage.
“I want my images to transport the viewer to places real or imaged_ to be swept away.”_ Renay Elle Morris
A bit of heavenly life fills a space confined only by a limited imagination.
As I traverse the labyrinth of my life I have challenged that which has become secure and perhaps too reasonable. I long for which may be the unevenness of trails, missteps, steep climbs and murky waters. A life reimagined is one that seeks exploration and identifies what needs to be changed. For me, it is historical study combined with aesthetic designs, and who, what, and where in this labyrinth it found a place of creative intent.
“Oh destiny of Borges,
to have sailed across the diverse seas of the world,
or across that single and solitary sea of diverse names,
to have been a part of Edinburgh, of Zurich, of the two Cordobas….
to have wandered through the red and tranquil labyrinth of London……”_ Jorge Luis Borges, writer
I have always believed that immersion in faraway spaces offers a multitude of creative possibilities. The opposite of what is familiar nourishes primal curiosity. It is these ethereal adventures that feed the soul and survive through imaginative devices. Compelling imagery and the birth of self-expression
emerge in the mind’s eye through the arts_ literature, music, painting, and photography as well language, cultural exploration and customs. Creativity allows for descriptive prose, storytelling, and visual landscapes that may or may not be understood by the viewer, yet are still captivating when discovered. Creativity is poised and ever-present, complete with different sounds and shapes_ odd and uneasy at times_ revealed in glorious notes, phrases, and cast on a multitude of surfaces as artistic expression.
My work in photography is revealed by the memories of distinctive creatures and their surroundings. Most are of a world that is foreign to me. The ability to connect with what is different creates an intimacy of epic proportions. These interactions are not taken for granted as they compel me to document as intriguing, not intrusive. Traveling up the Ucayali River from the banks of Iquitos, and encounters with indigenous communities ofthe Peruvian Amazon, dust-laden Petra’s antiquity uncovered in magical remains, the vessels in ocean filled with stories and secrets of ships lost at sea, or to reach the city at the end of the earth_ Ushuaia is what captures my soul. My odyssey_ perhaps, at times quixotic, is what I choose to share in my work. It is central to who I am.
A composition of artistic endeavors and hero worship.
As a fine art photographer, I have many heroes. Some perhaps with majestic kingdoms looming over embattled lands voicing thunderous commands, but most are ordinary people who live simple and unquestioned lives.
In New York City, where I live, I often attend recitals and symphonies. Recently, while listening to the music of Finnish composer and conductor, Essa-Pekka Salonen’s “Cello Concerto,” I felt its newness_ its grand mellifluousmovements. It was a masterful production, not predictable by any means with superb orchestral arrangements rooted in classical tradition, yet fashioned for the 21stcentury. He is a contemporary hero. Klimt, Stravinsky, Mahler, Puccini, Rembrandt, Borges, Rothko, and the 20thcentury painter Francis Bacon have greatly influenced me, as well as those arresting and willing heroes of every day life, those without notoriety or fanfare.
What would it take for you to point your compass to a place infused with unfamiliar touches_ one with gifts of nature, set so perfectly and divine, ready to catch a glimmer of its detail_ complete with pale gold or champagne and metallic hues, tints, and tones and shades of vivid colors screaming or contrasts in black and white?
My images are the documents: my notes on a journey. Moments in time and preserved in digital capture. I treasure them, as for the days when I forget the details of my life. And, as I have been inspired, I hope these melodies I capture will inspire. So to all those who participated; danced, composed, photographed and painted across the lens of my life, I thank you.
…if the image is going to be worth making it all, you see, it has to unlock sensation at a deeper level, it has to go in at an instinctive level.”_ Francis Bacon*
/Renay Elle Morris
*Michael Peppiatt, Francis Bacon in Your Blood (Bloomsbury, 2015). p.146.