Elemental Spirits 2002 - 2008
Digital images by Linda Law
This body of work, Elemental Spirits, was created after a major shift in my life. Moving from Long Island to Rosendale, NY, in the heart of the Hudson Valley, through a remarkable set of circumstances I found myself living in a stone cottage on 80 acres on the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains. I had set the intention to seek wildness, to open myself to new possibilities and to see what might happen.
With my new digital camera I walked out of my cottage onto the mountain every day, opening myself to connection with Nature. The land I walked was sacred land for the Lenape Indians, a mountain of quartz conglomerate, a crystal mountain pregnant with creative possibilities and doorways through which I could shift my awareness of Nature.
Returning home after a shoot, I would load these images into my computer and begin to experiment. For a number of years I had played with mirroring my images and this seemed a natural step to take with the new content I was producing. Very quickly I realized that a large number of these mirrored pieces contained beings at the join of the two images. There was also a correlation between the most powerful of these and the intensity of connection I felt in the places where I was shooting images.
Sharing this work with my neighbors, Robin and Steve Larsen, I found myself in the process of an intense journey of study in mythology and comparative religion. Having been students of Joseph Campbell for over 20 years, the Larsen’s are two of the world’s experts on mythology and they were strongly drawn to these images. They readily shared with me many stories of remote places, people, and their belief systems–opening me to a greater realm of myth and magic.
The work evolved into a bigger exploration of the Elements as I turned my camera to clouds and the flames of ritual fires at ceremonies, or to the colors of Nature in the Spring or the Fall. Sometimes these beings were not that obviously present but the careful process of revealing detail from shadows and highlights (with a digital process that parallels the dodging and burning of traditional photography) revealed their presence. This practice became like a form of meditation for me. It felt like a continuation of the flow of connection I felt in the initial stages of shooting the images.
This work continues to evolve, I still mirror some of my images and continue to open to a realm that offers me so much. These images are points of connection for us all to open fully into Nature.
The world of Nature has so much more to offer than we can ever imagine.