I've also working on a new series of images using old photographs of my Dad who passed in 2008. I've added natural elements like crystals to distort or hide his face. He is now the formless essence beyond the illusion of form; just as we all are. This series has helped me to reconcile him being here and yet not being here. You can see more of "Crystalline Dream" on brighitta.com.
"One moment Erica Deeman was an intern at Pier 24 Photography. The next, she was a featured artist there, her portraits of women from the African diaspora shown in their own gallery between ones dedicated to famous photographers Robert Frank and William Eggleston."
(LSW) I met Erica when I was on my graduate scheme at an ad agency in Leeds. Fresh out of University where I had studied economics, the creative environment of the agency was a real buzz and Erica and I hit it off and became friends. Even as our paths parted, and the years passed, we sporadically stayed in touch. Rooting for each other all the way.
On our last Skype date we talked about her love of photography having blossomed and how she was interning at a super cool gallery in her now home city, San Francisco. And then, last week I get an email sharing news of her work being featured in the gallery and a write up in the San Francisco Chronicle.
I feel compelled to share this work, not only because it moves me so much, but for Erica's personal story which stands as such an inspiration for anyone wanting to flow their creative expression and see where it can take them!
“Silhouettes” started in 2013 as Deeman was transitioning from being an account director in a London advertising agency to fine art photographer in San Francisco. She already had one bachelor’s from Leeds Beckett University and had started on her second.
Always interested in portraiture, she invited an African American woman she did not know to have her picture made at the Academy of Art studio. She set up for a traditional shoot with front lighting but was intrigued by lighting the subject from behind, to create a silhouette.
“When I saw it, I felt something akin to anthropology,” she says. “It was almost sculptural, yet still portraiture.”
Thus began a series of 30 portraits that took nine months. Deeman used strangers she met on the street, friends of friends and people reached through Craigslist ads. The only requirement was that they be willing to pose with shoulders bare.
'It's now, not when' - a mantra based poem to remind us to live our lives in each precious moment...
to step into the light.
to turn away from my earthly dramas; because now I see there is no real mystery there, just lies and separation? “There is nothing there of merit or value for me anymore,” I say to myself silently with a knowing smile.
to turn my back on the things that seduce me with the promise of a newfound kick.
to find my joy, clear my mind and speak my truth.
It's time to
dance in the green fields, bathe in the fresh water streams and smile at the wonders of life.
It's time to
open up my hands, fingers splayed and say, “thank you life for that which I can not yet see, feel or understand, but that I know one day will be mine.”
It's time to
be still, hold tight.
It's time to
wait and see what wants to be given.
It's time to
say I love you, I love you, I love you so and especially on days when I’m hurting inside.
It's time to
place my hands on my heart and give thanks for its miraculous tune.
It's time to
be the light that sets others alight.
It's time to
bask in my greatness. To claim all that I am and all that I will ever be, right here right now, inside of me.
It's time to simply be me… Right here, right now.
About the contributor: You can hang out with Karen on Facebook.
You can't fail to notice how colouring has entered the mainstream as a type of meditation practice.
At one point last year 6 of the 20 Amazon bestsellers were adult colouring books and even airport departure lounges and main stream book shops are making room for these creative pages, as people seek quiet time to tune into their inner child
"We can use it to enter into a more creative, freer state. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the color and the lines flow." - Antoni Martínez, Psychologist
So if you've been considering giving it a try look no further as the #HigherSelfie gal pal and artist, Jen Smith is here to hook you up with some of her meditative mandalas that are crying out for your artistic vibes.
There are 3 to choose from so start with one and see how you go, or download the set and let the creativity flow!
On November 11th 2015 I went to see the wonderful GLove (aka Gail Schock) talk at her #beinghappiness event.
During the evening she mentioned what she calls the "The Voice Thief" and in doing so she helped me put words to something I struggle with - my inability to speak about certain things. This had become an "issue" in itself, with me beating myself up whenever I failed to be open & vulnerable, still keeping those I trusted at an arms length.
Gail's words really resonated with me, so much so that a few days later I felt compelled to write about my own experience with the "Voice Thief."
The Voice Thief
The voice thief slowly crept into my life, into my body.
Arriving in early adolescence, he was a permanent fixture by my mid teens, taking up space in the lonely and confused part of my heart.
A cunning thief, he disguised himself as a friend, his role to protect me, from fear, from shame, from judgement.
He worked in partnership with my secrets - Self harm, food "issues", sexuality, all favourite topics to keep for himself.
He made his presence known through anxiety, knots in my stomach and a lump in my throat which words could not pass by.
When they did pass, he was not happy, I had betrayed him by speaking the words he held so dear and for that I was punished.
Tears, self-doubt, repetitive thoughts, guilt, so much guilt.
There were also the times he made me physically sick to my stomach, letting me know that I had not won.
The years passed before I realised that he was not my friend
He fed off my insecurities, my silence protected him not me.
He grew strong as I grew weak.
Once I became aware of this, I knew I needed to take action.
Overcoming this thief is an ongoing process, but I have found a voice through the written word and slowly, but surely those words are being verbalised.
And the biggest threat to this thief, to fear, to shame, to judgement -
Vulnerability, compassion and acceptance.
(On a slight side note, it is the people I have met through #HigherSelfie that have been the most compassionate and accepting. I still have a long way to go, but I have grown & learnt so much this past year when it has come to being vulnerable and my authentic self thanks to them.)
I came across Emmie Rae & Aldous Massie AKA, Squashed Mochi on Instagram and their daily posts of poetry and gorgeous graphic illustration captured my heart and imagination. She's a yoga teacher and writer and he's an artist, designer and illustrator and they also happen to be in love with each other too - their souls' output creating some moving and evocative pieces as part of their continued collab, available to buy here.
Some of my favourite poetic entries are below:
If ever you needed an additional input of calm and mindful words in your IG feed then this is the one that could be just the magic.
Love - LSW
Step inside the cloud like magic of the Yellowbluepink exhibition captured so perfectly by photographer and friend, Natalie J Watts. Does anyone else get a Akashic Records type vibe from these pictures? Thank you Natalie for letting us share your work and for this gorgeous introduction to the year - we are all with you and rooting for you and can NOT WAIT to see more of your expression come to life in 2016!
"2016 is upon us. This year feels magic. This year gives me goosebumps. This year will be about love & creativity & following my heart.
I recently visited the Yellowbluepink installation by Ann Veronica Janssens at the wellcome collection in London, with a dear & shining soul of a friend. We queued for more than 3 hours to enter the rainbow-coloured swirling mist & the wonder-full experience that awaited us was fully worth it.
This immersion of perception & colour was part of a larger exhibition ‘States of Mind’ on consciousness that the gallery will hold for most of 2016, & I felt the urge to take my ‘proper’ camera along for the experience.
This year I am promising myself to reconnect & take photographs that make my heart sing. I have taken photographs with personal meaning for every day in 2016 so far & in doing so I am looking harder & feeling feelings stronger & excited to see what this year holds. 2016, I am ready for you! Nx"
Enter the dreamy world of Marybel Martin. On first look perhaps the work of Marybel Martin strikes you with its detail and pretty portrayals of mermaids, French bulldogs and beautiful kingdoms. That's what I too observed when her name appeared in our email submissions and I delved into her beautiful portfolio.
And then, on further exploration the pictures conveyed deep messages of love, mindfulness and indeed, her own autobiography - they feel like a real work of spirit - just like all expression of ourselves!
Some of my favourite pieces from Marybel are displayed in the gallery below and do please check out her website and social media