The Solitude Project
The Photography Gala Awards
Professional Section • "Open theme" category
12th Julia Margaret Cameron Award Exhibition
Women Photographers Today
Gallery Valid Foto, Barcelona, May 8-25, 2019
“Not all men are called to be hermits, but all men need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally. When that inner voice is not heard, when man cannot attain to the spiritual peace that comes from being perfectly at one with his true self, his life is always miserable and exhausting...” —Thomas Merton
In a world where we’ve never been so connected, we’ve also never been so disconnected... from others, from our surrounding, and even from ourselves. Our dependence on noise, activity, entertainment – indeed, all manner of stimulation – keeps us in a state of chaos. We are so busy processing the information received from all directions that we are losing the ability to slowdown, think and feel. Even though our society shows us what we are, solitude can show us what we should be. Solitude and silence, are most intriguing and compelling spiritual disciplines, and yet also appear the hardest to come by in our crowded, noisy, modern world. It can seem out of reach to the average man — the exclusive purview of the kind of religious ascetics and hermetic philosophers. In truth, finding solitude and silence is possible even in the present age, without having to retreat to a cloister. And, far from being the privilege of the few, I believe seeking these states is a responsibility of us all.
With my Solitude project, I'm trying to find a visual that will make us seek that feeling of solitude and quiet interaction with an environment in a relaxed content state. My subjects (although sometimes there is no subject in a frame, just me behind the camera) appear as if time has stopped and they are simply absorbing the world around them without distractions. Another definition of the word “solitude” calls it a lonely unfrequented place with the absence of human activity. I’m also depicting that lonely unfrequented place as silence (which is often missing from our lives) and how we need to get back to it. I purposely compose my images that a person seems to be too small for a frame, but I believe that this "emptiness" help to enhance the main idea and give a viewer a real sense of scale.