“You were like raw gold. Somebody threw you into fire. You are molten gold now. You are in the middle of transformation. Come to me. I will cast you into a beautiful shape. That is the only way to forget the one who threw you into fire.” (Shunya)
This year I had proper plans for Christmas. I had plane tickets and accommodation booked in Northern Italy. I had a precise photography project lined up. I imagined taking long walks along the shore, collecting ‘sea’ glass and pebbles, capturing powerful waves and dramatic sunsets, admiring the freedom and dance of the seagulls as they catching their prey. I could see myself sitting on the terrace of cosy cafes, observing people as they pass by, and just simply loosing myself in the la dolce vita. NONE OF THIS HAPPENED. Due to newly enforced travel restrictions (less than one week before Christmas), I had to cancel it all. Gloomy, grey, dark, damp, smoky London, here I came again. I got stuck here second year in a row.
You’re probably thinking I must have been devastated. No, I wasn’t. I told myself no matter what I’m still going make this time count.
I had absolutely no idea what I was going to photograph, but this is what it takes to be an artist. You adapt, you find new ways and you bend and stretch your creativity every possible ways.
Of course I’m just a human, so part of me had the determination to keep my creative flow going, but in the back of my mind I also had the reoccurring thought of: ‘Seriously, what the hell am I going to photograph? No light, no colours, nothing inspires me’ bla bla bla bla blaaaaaah.
I needed to set some realistic goals. Am I going to create masterpieces? Most likely not, but who knows. The most important thing is to keep going and treasure everything I have available, and create something extraordinary out of the MOST ordinary.
It’s quite a common winter ‘issue’ that we are struggling to find inspiration and there’s not enough light. All true. I haven’t seen the sun in the past 2.5 – 3 weeks. It’s just clouds and darkness all the time, and every day I wake up with the hope that maybe today is gonna be THE DAY, when the sun blesses us all, and life is going to be amazing again. Nah! Forget about it. This is the Great British winter! Seriously, who am I kidding?!
I told myself: enough is enough, and what if instead of constantly CHASING the Light, I MAKE my own light. Of course we all love natural light, it’s nothing like it, but I am not willing to wait for spring to come, until I can create again. No way!
As I was setting up my still life arrangement and started shooting, I had an epiphany. It was completely unrelated to photography, but it was through photography that the realisation hit me: all through my life I was always searching for The Light, and I was looking in all the wrong places, because it is not outside, it is within us.
Through the process of creating a still life composition and having tremendous amount of struggles to get the images right, I had realised that I am the Sun, I am my own light. No matter where I am I can create because I create from within, from my inner light. All of a sudden I understood that I don’t need to be completed, because I’m already a whole, and everything else that life blesses me with is a bonus. Who would have though that a dark afternoon, a juice bottle, a semi wilted stem of hydrangea, my Lensbabies, and a small lamp would lead me onto a new path of self discovery.