There is a deep connection between art and spirituality. I think without the artist consciously being aware of it, he/she often deals extensively with issues such as: the meaning of life, the question of impermanence or the arbitrariness of fate. Thus spiritual issues, so to say; things that can not be explained exclusively by ratio, logic, science and intellect alone.
Sure, for survival, art and spirituality are not needed. But to live in depth and fullness, I think they are. In art and spirituality we find everything that makes the dignity and beauty of human potential: love, creativity, magic, multidimensionality, complexity, sensuality … A lot of what we can not explain ourselves, we find in these two areas. In both art and spirituality the level of understanding is reconciled with the emotional level and thus gives us access to our intuitive wisdom. Therefore the artist could be seen as a mediator of wisdom as well. The artist again creates a balance between reason and emotion, or let’s say the awakened consciousness and that could be the combination of which those that receive the art are so inspired by. Art has the potential to make us feel more in tune with life. Or in other words, to be with the flow.
Both art and spirituality do enrich my life; and the one is inspired by the other. In my photography I’m always searching for moments of authenticity, where people do not feel observed and therefore are themselves: Then they are most natural and beautiful. I hope that by looking at my pictures people can feel the beauty and depth of human life and thus their own lives, and that by contemplating on the images, they can evoke their own creative and spiritual force within.
The art has brought me to Buddhism and this in turn influenced my art.
Now I feel a strong wish to combine these two: Not only on a cognitive level, but also content-related. And so last year I started my photographic project “Tibetans in Exile” in which I have portrayed the Tibetan exile population in Kathmandu in the area around the Boudhanath Stupa. The images draw attention to the beauty, the living force, the peaceful and respectful life and mindset of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan people.
Now I am inspired to continue traveling to other exile regions such as Ladakh, Dharamsala, Sikkim, Bhutan, and other areas of the Himalayas to carry on the project. In September 2014, I will go for 2 weeks to Leh, Ladakh, and with my fellow photographer Jagdev Singh I’m planning to make a photo route from Leh down to Dharamsala. Perhaps in the upcoming future, I will have the honor to photographically accompany the life of a yogi or yogini (realized woman practitioner)…That would be a little dream!
I find in our purpose-build world, we often tend to underestimate the small and essential things of life. It is the task of those who interweave art and spirituality to recognize their true meaning and to appreciate them.
I personally appreciate these things with my photography and take this ability of doing so as a gift for myself and for life itself. The best photographs emerge when I forget about myself in the process; when I’m in connection with my intuitive wisdom.