In the Spiritual Realm
By deconstructing religious ritual, this project strives to reconstruct a narrative about spirituality that connects the traditional religious experience with secular metaphysical consciousness. These images capture a pure spiritual feeling and separate that universal connection, felt both on the individual and group level, from the ideological practices that often divide the religious and non-religious, as well as different religious groups. Photographic processes are used to both document the cultural reality and to extract the pure spiritual nature of the event.
The Process of Creating In the Spiritual Realm
Growing up in the suburbs outside of St. Louis, religion had been pushed upon me by both my peers and adults causing me to reject all religious affiliation or belief. Upon coming to the South, my curiosity about others’ religious experiences was piqued and I decided to confront my own prejudices in January of 2011, when I first approached Pastor Moore of St. Phillip Monumental AME church, seeking permission to photograph the church services. Pastor Moore welcomed me and I began photographing the congregation. All the images were captured using either a 4×5 or 8×10 large format camera.
The prints are created by hand coating glass with a liquid emulsion. The plates of glass are exposed either by enlarging a negative onto the surface or by directly placing the negative onto the plate then exposing it. After printing, the glass plate images are backed with white acrylic and fit into a handcrafted light box, which illuminates the image from behind.