DOCUMENTA III: connection between the five elements of nature & artistic expression
ALEXIS CASTILLO, Cuba
We Are Still Cavemen. The basic wiring in our brains and how we interact are the same as thousands of years ago. Nature is where we still belong.
When I am in the wild with the animals, they move me in an elemental way. I think black and white photography can communicate my feelings better. Black and white also has the potential to reveal the essence, to lift out the soul, of wild animals. It seems to capture the truth that lies beneath the surface.
Wildlife photography is about capturing a split second, when the light and the animal behavior come together to create an emotional image. The fancy light of the nature, and the special moments when a magnificent wild animal allows you to be present in its world are the simple pleasures help you to appreciate and be grateful. All worries, sadness and regrets are forgotten.
To be a wildlife photographer helps to know what kind of person you are because the animal species you choose to photograph tell about beauty, power, elegance, speed, excitement, etc.
If I can capture a moment that evokes emotion in my viewers, I consider it a success.
Why these images? The animals and the nature have a symbiotic relationship of care and respect, which helps both their conservation and the maintenance of the ecological balance.
Bald Eagle: conveys the powers and messages of the spirit; it is man’s connection to the divine because it flies higher than any other bird. … If eagle has appeared, it bestows freedom and courage to look ahead. The eagle is symbolic of the importance of honesty and truthful principles. When you are in Mississippi River, once in Dubuque (Iowa), you are in the land of Bald Eagles because rivers and lakes are frozen in Canada. They migrate from there for better fishing. January is really cold in North Mississippi, about 10 Fahrenheit, here in an empty land of people and in front of Mississippi River you are really free.
African Elephant: Many African cultures revere the African Elephant as a symbol of strength and power. It is also praised for its size, longevity, stamina, mental faculties, cooperative spirit, and loyalty. Elephants use dirt as sunscreen. This picture was taken on August-2017 in Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa.
Bengal Tiger: for many cultural the tiger symbolizes the spirit animal of female sensuality, audacity, ferocity. When you see tiger drinks water in peaceful mood you can see a big sweet cat inside celestial ceremony that establishes between him and the nature. The animal knows that needs water to live. The union is awesome! This photograph was taken in Ranthambore National Park, State in Northern India.
DMITRY ZHITOV, RUSSIA
The Taj Mahal is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan along the river in Agra India in honor of his beloved wife, Mumtaz. When I first saw the Taj from a distance, I was stunned by its blue pearlescent glow. And the long ornamental waterway that led me to the entrance and brought me the inner peace and calm he no doubt wanted to give his dying wife.
Red is Fire… the red of blood, of flowers and the summer season.
Fire is at the heart of human celebrations… ornate garments and headdresses, color and tapestry. Fire is at the heart of life… heat, warmth, a vibrant source of energy day and night.
Are we puppets, manipulated by an invisible hand? Puppets pulled and guided by fiery unseen cords that connect us to the people and experiences we are intended to have?
Water satisfies thirsts… our child-like thirst for life, for experiencing new things. For learning and knowing.
As we grow up and become preoccupied with our adult lives, our inner child’s desires are frequently forgotten or ignored. This photo reminds us that our child selves are waiting for us to continue quenching their thirsts… their thirsts for life.
MARICARMEN FERNANDEZ, CUBA
Language is a sound expression in two senses; as thought and as oral communication, and handles not only the information received but also the abstract concepts.
A created sound is given a meaning and then acquires the value of representing something. But sound, in addition to defining things, allows us to develop abstract ideas, non-tangible concepts, and communicate directly with feelings and what we might call “soul”.
If the basic elements of the image, such as color, line, plane, are freed from physical representation, the message of concrete ideas is freed towards more abstract ideas.
In my painting I divest the object of its physical forms to let it enter the world of sensations ruled by colors, textures, and timeless concepts, which register in the human psyche a new meaning.
NATHALIA SHUMAKER, BRAZIL
As a person, I have a very strong connection with nature, receiving all the energy and peace that emanates from creation. As a biologist, I understand the essence, the evolution and the magnitude of life, relating to the 4 elements all existence. As a photographer, I have to admit everything I aspire from the depths of the soul, to the one who sees it and perceives in my images all this grandiosity.
In the grandeur of things, we are simply a spec, albeit, with unlimited freedom to expand.
The invested energy transforms peaceful and shallow waters in pulsating and out of reaches ones.
Against time, with the wind’s favor, guided by instinct, we fly.
PAMELLA HERPIO, BRAZIL
Neuroscience studies report that the immensity that the sea projects causes a state of admiration and amazement in our psyche. The meditative state that causes watching the waves of the sea strengthens and stimulates brain waves, which can even change. Contemplating the sea is a spiritual cure, which induces calm, meditation, an internal return to us. The perception of time varies, it becomes slower, even coming to have the feeling that time has stopped. The sea relaxes our mental processes activating in our brains brighter, creative, clear and original ideas.
Vulcanic Stone – Fernando de Noronha archipelago. Atlantic Ocean – BR, 2013. 542km the distance from the Brazilian Litoral.
Healing Water – Fernando de Noronha is a volcanic archipelago about 350 kilometers off Brazil’s northeast coast. It’s named after its largest island, a protected national marine park and ecological sanctuary with a jagged coastline and diverse ecosystems. It’s renowned for its undeveloped beaches and for scuba diving and snorkeling. Sea turtles, rays, dolphins and reef sharks swim in its warm, clear waters.
Creative Nature – Tapajós River. Amazon – Pará, Brazil. 2017. The Tapajós is a river in Brazil. It runs through the Amazon Rainforest and is a major tributary of the Amazon River. When combined with the Juruena River, the Tapajós is approximately 1,200 mi long. It is one of the largest clearwater rivers, accounting for about 6% of the water in the Amazon basin.
VILMA VOLCANES, VENEZUELA
Up until 1940, minerals were mined and loaded onto ships here. Like an authentic open-air industrial museum, Cala Domestica, two kilometers south of Buggerru, still preserves the ruins of warehouses, deposits and tunnels dug by the miners. One of these to the right of the cala leads to a second, hidden, almost intimate cove known as La Caletta. The larger cove is a deep and stunning inlet, almost a fjord, with a wide, sheltered beach with soft, compact sand that ranges from white to amber and gold.
This place is a corner of paradise into connection with the elements of nature that man should not allow himself to lose.
This photograph was taken in Cala Domestica Beach, Sardinia, Italy.
The connection of man with nature is of body and soul. Tells the story, that this beach called Paraiso, in Villajoyosa, Alicante, Spain, the psychiatrist Jose Maria Esquerdo built a clinic between the mountains and the beach for the mentally ill, because he was convinced that the sea air and the mountain, the proximity with the natural environment, helped to calm the spirit, the mind and body of your patients. Paradise, a piece of air, earth, water … wonderful!
ALEXIS ALLEYNE-CAPUTO, BAHAMAS-USA
The two images belong to the project Afro Diaries that I have been presenting interdisciplinary elements of since 2012. Afro Diaries represents a diasporic collective body of work by, for and about women of color. The work is centered, compelling and offers a window into the landscape of miscarriages women endure. Whether addressing the critical issue of identity, cultural differences, social, political, and human rights issues, these and other concerns create conflict and inequality in society.
The present visual iteration establishes as a starting point, the environment of nature such as bird nests, as a foundational space, with the focal element of the egg as a symbol of life, as a representation of the creative power of light, as a symbol of resting values; values like the house, the nest, the shell or the breast of the mother. At the center are human femininity traits, i.e., robust, secure, positioned and in control of its importance as a being that gives life, provides ideas and stimulates its own growth to not only change its universe, but the environment it inhabits.
Nested: endurance, resistance strategies, an articulate silence and posture of confidence is all that is needed to become an unapologetic architect of my future. I can therefore build or occupy a nest, or engage in methodic nesting before my eggs (ideas) and intended movement is ready to be hatched.
Hatched: the element of time and other known and unknown variables dictate, or rather, prompt a readiness for exposure and an emergence from confinement. In this instance, Hatched represents a right and rite of passage from being restricted in one area, i.e., spaces, places, natural, man-made environments or in a community; a community of people and particularly black women, who contribute to horizontal and vertical forms of oppression against one another. This type of oppression creates a psychological scarring and incarceration manifesting as a cultural illness as a result of slavery. Under the right temperature with these added pressures, resistance is birthed, hence the term hatched.
IVONETE LEITE, BRAZIL
I have always been amazed by nature for its simple and organic shapes and how it integrates creating incredible patterns rich in textures, movements, lights and shadows.
Through this series entitled Elements I decided to capture that compositional harmony that are created from undulating lines and irregular volumes, which integrated with other elements of nature such as water, earth , stone and the light make up a gentle, melodic, unique and unrepeatable landscape, which for its beauty does not go unnoticed for the eye of a photographer.
I am what I see and the camera is the projection of my sensibilities.
MIGUEL SALAS, PUERTO RICO
I call South Florida my home, a state surrounded by sandy beaches and filled with miles of rivers of grass. What a great place to be for a photographer!
Back in 2017 I wanted to take my portrait photography to the next level. I wanted to do environmental portraits; I wanted to tell the story of the person who I was making the portrait of, and not just photographing just a body but rather to capture the essence of the person. Until I ran into J.L.McGee, an Environmental Biologist with international research experience, and a conservation leader that specialize on aquatic animals and ecosystem health.
We spent two days together hiking North Florida’s forest in search of a hiding spring. Finally, on our last spring I found the landscape; vibrant, fertile, and unique.
I wanted to see her, where she belongs, where she likes to be, in the water.
J.L.McGee is an advocate of the wildlife.
Metamorphosis is a photographic image that evokes protection and respect for wildlife.
It is an image that aims to locate man in the animal’s habitat to raise awareness of the importance of caring for the environment and wildlife as life fountain.
OZZY SAMPER, CUBA
Fire is an ancestral symbol in the history of man. Ancient civilizations worshiped it as a sacred element and in most cases it was represented in mythologies through divinities. In the Bible it is associated with the Holy Spirit, symbol of the pure and true love of the presence of God, instrument of his judgment and sign of his power. In most cultures there are rituals, legends, paintings, all kinds of writings and artistic representations alluding to fire.
Fire, a noble and voracious element present in nature, I represent as a symbol of learning in my profession as a painter (painful and fruitful teachings) and smoke as a freedom of expression assimilated.
In the book Genesis, God creates the life on Earth, creates the man and woman.
In Greek mythology, the twelve titans, powerful deities, were also associated with the creation of life in this world.
In ancient Chinese philosophy the world is a holistic and harmonious entity. According to its vision, no being or thing could exist unless it was seen in relation to the environment that surrounded it. By simplifying these relationships, they tried to explain the complex phenomenon of the universe.
In this work, I fused multiple interpretations about Creation collected through the history of man and I offer them to the public (as a bird’s vision perspective) to motivating the debate and stimulating in the public a new reading.