Photographer Tom Suhler takes photos but not without tremendous thought and planning. His knowledge of history, art, literature, mythology, and philosophy influence the "story" behind each series of photographs that he explores and produces.
In his words, "I am driven by my curiosity of everything and to my desire to stimulate people's imagination and their curiosity. I strive to create pieces that are engaging, open to interpretation, interesting during repeated viewings, and inspiring.
My process often follows the following steps:
Forget everything I know how to do.
Figure out how to create it.
The process is more interesting to me rather than working with the things I already know how to do. There are many more failures than successes this way but it creates more unique and interesting pieces. Besides, if the chance of failure is not significant then success means very little."
The series "Vitruvian Woman" illustrates this approach that is both scholarly and creative. Marcos Vitruvius Pollio, born around 80 BC, served in the Roman army designing and constructing artillery machines. He was also an architect and his most important work was literary. He wrote the only surviving book on architecture from classic antiquity, " De Architectura", known today as "The Ten Books on Architecture". His discussion of the proportions of man inspired people to give those ideas form. It was thought that the proportions of the human body should be able to fit in a circle and a square. The significance of this thought was centered around the belief that the circle represented the cosmic and divine and the square that which was earthly and secular. "The human body wasn't just designed according to the principles that governed the world, it was the world, in miniature." (Smithsonian Magazine)
The most well-known is Leonardo da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man", the image on the top right. The image in the middle is believed to be the earliest Viturvian man executed by Francisco de Giorgio. Da Vinci did his in 1487 and the one on the left was done in 1521 by Cesare Cesariano. Suhler's "Vitruvian Woman" series was created on set in his studio with no digital manipulations.
Credit given to Smithsonian Magazine (online), Wikipedia, and Tom Suhler for the ideas put forth in this blog.
Michael michaud designs from nature
Jewelry designer Michael Michaud of Connecticut credits nature for his design inspirations: "Nature's creations are the ultimate Art that fills our hearts with joy, warms our souls with promise and fuels our spirit with desire. My true inspiration to reflect this beauty in adornment is what my Art is all about."
One of my personal favorites of Michael's are the pieces using the ash leaf design. Michael includes information about each leaf or part of nature that inspires his pieces. His description of the ash leaf sent me on some research to find out more. Michael shares," The Ash Leaf's leaves have long been thought to attract love and prosperity. One of the great Leafs of Ireland, this leaf has rich history in folk lore and religion. Growing up to 80 feet tall, the Ash Leaf became known as the Great Mother of the forest and eventually as the Leaf of life. A symbol of strength, empowerment, and destiny."
I did some further research and learned that the Ash tree was very important in Viking mythology being the "tree of life". In Ireland, it is the second most popular tree to be beside holy wells. In British folklore, it was seen to offer special protection for babies and children. In many parts of England, children would bring a branch of the ash tree to school on Ash Wednesday.
Seems like a beautiful accessory to wear on Easter.
Blessings from Art Connections Gallery on this most Holy Day.
Like many of you, I was glued to my computer watching the burning of this magnificent house of God. I was moved to tears to see the Parisians standing together praying and singing hymns as they watched this beloved part of their lives burn. Notre Dame was always the cathedral of the people and the people wept this week.
I was blessed many years ago to visit Notre Dame and, like many before me and after, I was awed by what I saw and felt while there. I have been online looking at the history and the many stories of this Gothic masterpiece.
I have learned that it took almost 200 years to build by thousands of craftsmen who worked their whole lives on it knowing that they would not live to see its completion. I learned that it took over 50 acres of old growth Medieval forest to provide the wood to build it. I imagine the extreme difficulty and danger involved to build something of that size without large cranes, trucks, and equipment that we associate with large construction.
I have contemplated its tremendous artistic and architectural significance as well as the years of history that passed before its doors. Started in 1163 and completed in 1345, Notre Dame witnessed wars, plagues, political and social upheavals, and all the great music, art and literature that has come since its construction. It has withstood Medieval times, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, potential destruction just before Napoleon and in World War II, a man on the moon, and today's world of cyber technology. From the news reports, it appears that it will rise again, different yet still inspiring.
What I have contemplated the most, however, are the millions (or billions?) of prayers that have been prayed before its altars. How God must have listened to the faithful through so much in over 800 years. I am awed again. And I pray that this mere building built in such a way as to glorify God for centuries will rise again to house the faithful, the hurting, the curious.
My thanks to whoever paired the above quote with the photo.