Sunday, January 9, 2011

Melanie Cilfone Photography


Melanie Cilfone
The Breath of Life

One summer night, out on a flat headland, all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space. Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages. Otherwise there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars: the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon. It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be see many scores of nights in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will. ~Rachel Carson
I find that my job as an artist is to capture something ordinary, something everyday, in such a way that it is seen in a new light. To force people to stop and recognize what they take for granted, to find the underlying beauty and truth in my subjects, even if the beauty is plainly seen. There is a moment to be captured everywhere and I love to be able to hold that moment in time knowing that it never will really occur again, something will always be different. At that time, at that place, it has been captured and held exactly how it will always be.
In this particular body of work, I want to show these types of moments through photographs of my time on the islands of Hawaii. The islands hold their own particular magic and beauty that locals never take for granted. They appreciate all that has been given to them and find the breath of life, their ‘Ha’, within the land and sea that they see everyday. Locals live free and in the moment, taking it all in. I offer up to you as a challenge to find the beauty in your everyday, in the simple things in life. It’s there, if you stop long enough to open your eyes and look for it. Find your ‘Ha’.