Nature photographs become complex Mandalas and gateways for meditation journeys in this collection of kaleidoscopic images by John Curtis Crawford. Ordinary natural elements like leaves and moss-covered branches become extraordinary environments filled with visual puzzles. Fantastical creatures peer through the natural environment to transport the viewer beyond the surface of reality into realms of the imagination.
Functioning on the theory that the camera lens detects more than the eye can see (or the brain can process), Crawford asked himself, “What might I see if I were an Otherworld being whose eyes could assemble ‘reality’ in a more complex fashion?” Using the original photograph as his palette, Crawford applied a process of recursion, duplicating and reassembling the mirror images in Photoshop, to bring out creatures and places not seen in the base photo. The resulting images could be described as training wheels for the mystical “third” eye.
Fifty full page, full color images and the original photographs from which they were assembled are divided into six sections with accompanying suggestions for meditation. The images and commentary are designed to help the viewer see beyond a conventional appreciation of the natural world and experience nature’s spirit The beauty and balance of nature reflected in the patterns of these images draw the viewer to follow the pathway of a story drawn from their subconscious and their creativity into realms beyond conventional understanding. Trees are brown, leaves are green and flowers are colorful but when scenes are assembled in this fashion, they tantalize the observer to become intimately connected to the subject matter. The commingling of light and color flow together in a way that creates a choreography of inferred movement and the unusual assemblage of color and texture extends beyond the natural world and deepens the experience of nature.
Eye Dream is an enchanting visual journey for anyone who finds beauty in nature and who has always suspected that there is a living spirit hiding in every tree. It invites the viewer to imagine what might be while at the same time appreciating what is simply beautiful.
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