The Garden of Eden is described in the Bible as being the place where Adam and Eve first met. The Bible relates the location of Eden relative to four major rivers: Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates (Genesis 2:10-14.) Throughout history there have been a number of suspected locations for Eden-everywhere from Mesopotamia to Jerusalem, even modern day Missouri and underwater-while some historians claim it never actually existed at all. Like Heaven itself, to some historians, it became synonymous with a kind of unobtainable paradise, a place that didn't physically exist. Regardless of your religious belief, the concept of a secret garden and an unobtainable paradise is one that fascinates artists. The garden is filled with symbolism-from the fruit of the tree, to serpents, demons, cherubs, gender, birth, death, good and evil-it all exists within the confines of Eden. The journey into Eden is as much a journey the artist's imagination as it is an outward exploration of the world surrounding us.
In creating this work, I wanted to throw back to the beginnings of photography, the Genesis of imagery, if you will. These images are reminiscent of the turn-of-the-century Pictorialism movement. The Pictorialists were not purists; they favored photographic techniques that rendered images abstract and they stood in contrast to those of the "f/64" movement (photographers who created the sharpest, most accurately rendered images they could at the time.) Using techniques like soft focus, infrared photography, and sepia toning prints, I hope to capture some of the early Pictorialist spirit-to show the modern day Garden of Eden, how it might look now or, at least, how it looks in my imagination.
Secret gardens are wonderful because you feel as if you are stepping into another world. It's as much about the process of discovery as it is about the plants and surroundings.
Please click on the [:::] button below to view my gallery of Finding Eden.