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The Lakota people say, "Mitakuye oyasin." Roughly translated that means "all my relations." It reflects a belief that all things are connected or related. I have to agree with them on that point. All things are made up, at their core, of the same stuff. The basic building blocks of the universe are, well, universal. At the smallest, most basic, level we are made up of the same stuff that stars burning hundreds of billions of light years away are made up of. In this way everything is not only connected it is literally related.
For me, art and spirituality are inextricably intertwined. If a work of art does not grow out of a sense of awe and does not speak from a place of acknowledging the sacred it just leaves me completely flat. It feels soulless and pointless. When I look at a work of art I want it to grab me. I want it to jump out at me. I want it to say, "Here is the sacred in all things."
I consider it my job, as an artist, to seek that connection out and attempt to capture it. For me, the whole point of making art is to communicate something that can't be communicated any other way. Try as I might, I can't explain, with words, what Universal Connection looks like. So, I take photographs of the world around me. I try to capture what Universal Connection looks like. I use my camera to explore that connection and to deepen my own understanding of it.
Everything I see has the potential to inspire me, if only I look at it just right. A dead leaf blown lazily across a parking lot or the shape of an insect crawling across my windshield can inspire a great deal more awe in me than most grand sights. The little details are the most interesting to me. That is where I find Universal Connection.