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There is an ancient Buddhist practice of using delicate molds to imprint sacred images on flowing water, an expression of the moment, this unique and changing moment. Photography, like the sacred containers, can capture the quick-silver moment to carry gently for a while, to contemplate and share. The photograph reminds us of that moment then and to attend to this one, now. As the artist works, moments gather, moments remembered, moments anticipated. Then the viewer comes to the image, we write on the water together.

One of the subjects over which light has played for me over the years has been water, not only in the ocean and river, but water in stately fountains, hunble sinks, and traveling plastic bottles. In the darkroom, I became increasingly uncomfortable having precious water running like sand through an hourglass in the printwasher. For this reason and others, I welcome the advent of the digital darkroom and am making the transition along with so many of my colleagues. The development of archival inks and fine papers that evoke drawing and printmaking, make digital an increasingly viable way of making photographs. I continue to work with traditional film in a treasured old camera and with pixels in a new one.
In Rome, I watched people drink from public fountains in every square, filling jugs to take home or simply enjoying a refreshing drink of the water that bubbled from the fountain creatures - lions, turtles, dolphins and cherubs. I was touched by their trust that the water was as clean and plentiful as it always has been. Here, in Florida, we are becoming aware that the abundant water table, spread so near the surface, is far more fragile than we knew, needing our protection as we rely on its sustenance. We must be mindful of what we write on these waters.

 

 

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