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Shane McDermott

Ever since I began photographing in 2004 I have remained endlessly fascinated with what it is about photography that continues to hold my interest and passion? Over the years I can certainly see how these motivations and drives have shifted, which not surprisingly also reveals themselves through the evolution of my work and creative inspirations.

The art of photography has been primarily an interior journey for me, an conscious practice of cultivating a meaningful and impactful relationship with the natural world, one that could somehow reveal itself through the creative vision of my work. In this relational dance with the natural world, I consider photography to be a co-creative act, one in which my awareness, skill set and unique vision are able to converge with the natural elements and life forms I interact with, as well as the energetic and seasonal cycles of nature.

It seems all to common and perhaps too easy for human beings to hold the miraculous display of nature as being something “out there” and separate from our personal sense of “in here”, and therefore simply a resource at our disposal. It feels important for us to heal this relational split with nature, which is something I attempt to capture and teach through my photography. By mindfully resisting the unconscious tendency to reduce nature to a miraculous external display that can be captured through my imagery, I open to deeper experiential realities and a unifying resonance with the natural world. As long as we continue to relate to the natural world as merely something outside of us, and something separate from us, I think we miss essence of what nature stirs within us, and is beckoning us to look more closely at.

I am always deeply intrigued by what it is that makes me stop and want to take a photograph. What do I find attractive about this aspect of nature or this particular life form and what does it awaken within me? And how can I share this with others? Through the conscious practice of photography, I have come to appreciate the profound resonance of connection we can experience with the natural world, and what that can invokes within us. To witness just how effortlessly all the natural elements, life forms and planetary movements seamlessly orient around a central source of light and life, can help remind us of how an important aspect of our very existence is also inextricably embedded within this astonishing ecological tapestry and rich web of life we call Nature.

Through the dramatic and endless cycles of life and death, the natural world offers us a potent reminder of how these same forces are at work in our own lives, beckoning us to grapple with the undeniable realities and unique manifestations of creation and dissolution, and how both of these forces are expressed through each of us. For me, each encounter with the natural world requires that I embrace each of the energies. First I must be willing to allow for a particular or partial way of seeing or being to dissolve before I can truly open, see and experience the fuller reality of what is possible and present within me and before me - only then can the experience of effortless creation emerge.

Best Regards,

Shane McDermott

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