Lesson 2 – My Inspiration

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    When I was young, my mind was full to bursting with ideas. Images in my head that I struggled to duplicate with pencil and paper. Words that floated and formed themselves into poems. My creative spirit was alive and well.

    After I had my first child, when there was no more time for me, when life was a blurry cycle of endless feedings and diaper changes, my creative spirit vied for attention, and failed. But it could only stay quiet for so long.

    Recently, I came across the work of Gregory Colbert, in particular his installation Ashes and Snow.


    The photos grip me in a way that is hard to describe. The emotion that flows through them speaks to something at the very core of me. The theme of the connections between humans and animals, the way we are so integrally interwoven, are beautifully represented. The sheer power of the animals is mirrored by the intellectual power of the people they are pictured with.

    Ashes and Snow speaks to me in particular because of its movement across the senses, through different types of media. There are, of course, the breathtaking photographs, then there is music, film, and written material that create an enveloping piece of art that is impossible to ignore.

    Though I don’t imagine I’ll be photographing elephants anytime soon (they seem to be somewhat lacking in this area of Canada), I can only hope to replicate some of the power that these photographs possess. To have an image describe a relationship in such honest terms, be it the joy between a mother and her newborn, the elation of a just married couple, or the innocence of a child, I want my photographs to speak to those emotions. I want the connection between my subjects to scream loudly from the page.

    Gregory Colbert inspires me to find ways to incorporate my love of the written word and music into my photographic work. This installation pushes me to look for the invisible cords that tie us together as beings on this planet. To find the spiritual moments in the every day scenes that we are presented with, and record those in a way that is both thought provoking and visually arresting.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Thank you for sharing this.

    I highly recommend other students look at the link posted above. It’s one of the most breathtaking galleries of photographs you’ll ever witness. Truly inspirational.

    Thank you for sharing this.

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