On my latest trip to St. Augustine we were walking down Crescent Beach over by the Matanzas Inlet. As we made our way under the bridge I felt inspired by the construction of the bridge and the various lines I could use for composing. I found surreal triangles highlighting the complementary colors between the orange beach of crushed shells and the bright blue skies of a Tuesday afternoon. I found angles and hard edges slashing through blue skies speckled with beautiful white marshmallow clouds. But what caught my eye the most was the Crossroads.
I stood there looking at this scene before me, quietly contemplating this impactful visual message as the water gently lapped against the pilings. It often feels like there are two paths in life and through a series of continuous micro decisions you find yourself treading one path over another. There is a yin-yang effect going on here. One path starts off dark, yet leads to a bright ending. The other path has a lot more light to it, but the ending is a wall of rocks and cement. Life isn't as black and white as this, but the journey can often feel this way.
My initial thought was to use this image to visually express this concept through my photographic paintings. I scrolled through my photo library looking for photos that embodied the darkness, the death and destruction, that feeling that you’ve made the wrong choice in life. It wasn’t hard to find photos that embodied the lightness, the hope for a bright tomorrow, life. As I started bringing the images together what started as a personal manifesto grew into a global message. A Planetary Crossroads.
At this moment in time the entire planet is at a crossroads. We’ve run out of time to make impactful changes. I feel helpless as I watch the elected representatives of this country choose death and destruction while touting how precious each life is, as corporations are allowed to poison and taint our beautiful natural resources, and I have to wonder to what end? Individuals are doing what they can to make the world a better place by recycling, reusing, buying local, trash collecting, using biodegradable packaging, but it’s not enough. We need to start holding corporations accountable for their environmental practices instead of giving them a free pass and blaming the consumer. We need to start holding our elected officials accountable, especially at the local level. We need to start collectively caring about the fate of our planet instead of apathetically standing by.
The image above illustrates the crossroads that we are currently at. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to bring about positive change lest we end up in a toxic wasteland. I’m not sure if I will do more work to this latest photographic painting. I do know that I felt compared to share this message with all of you as soon as it all came together.
What are your thoughts on this topic? What did you think of The Crossroads and the photographic painting created from it, A Planetary Crossroads? Does any of this speak to you or inspire you to take action in some way? I’d love to read your feedback in the comments below. Thank you for following along.