The mysticism and risk in earth movement
Mysticism is defined as becoming one with God, but also can refer to an altered state of consciousness through spirituality. As a mother, I have experienced the spirituality of parenting, however, the demands of parenting can keep me from seeking out the extraordinary in the world.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky said “The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one can not forever live in the cradle.” He suggests that we must look beyond earth for deeper understanding of life.
There is a mysticism I feel when looking at the stars, particularly in relation to the still world beneath it. This is where I entertain the notion of a higher power, in the mysticism of the unknown. To do so, I spend hours in sometimes unsettling situations. Often I take my daughter, or friends—most often, I go alone.
The creation of this body of work meant finding a balance with life as a single mother. Finding remote locations to spend considerable amounts of time late at night by myself. It can take hours to craft one image of star trails, particularly since I take them with long exposures and not stacking multiple images. And the best ones, for me, are taken in areas with little to no alternative light. Most of the images in this portfolio were taken on beaches, over cliffs and high up on mountains. Usually, I was alone.
Still the evidence of light pollution is seen from nearby lights. I don’t always restrict myself to isolated areas and often will capture star streams in populated areas where everyday objects are visible. This is intentional to show the ways in which the view of the stars is impacted by the environments from where we are observing them. The result is a mystical depiction of the cosmos and the surrounding world—one that required sacrifice and often risk on my part to capture. They were taken as far north as the Catskill mountains in New York, the north Georgia Mountains, and as far south as the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands.
Through this body of work, I explore the connections between this world and space, the light pollution that obstructs our view, the objects that blur our view and the movement that causes objects to appear in transit. The movement of the earth is always at play as long exposures reveal the star trails. I also seek to view the world and space through both a scientific and spiritual lens, calling on scientific methods to capture mystical images. But my full self is always there, a woman at night capturing the stars.