Transformation: A Spiritual Journey into the Royal National Park

Background

Inspiration for the the black and white series Transformation came after I read Autobiography of a Yogi by the renowned Indian saint Paramahansa Yogananda. For some time I had been thinking of ways to outline the path to enlightenment with metaphoric light and dark figurative elements in landscapes that sit in the erosion zone between land and sea.

The Sydney basin was a massive alluvial delta in the Triassic era 200 million years ago that has created the sedimentary sandstone geology covering the whole region including all of the Royal National Park on the southern outskirts of Sydney. Coastal erosion has provided me with ideal visual material evocative of the gradual personal transformation process. I did many trips to the park to research the locations and shoot the images and have recently finished writing a book which outlines and expands the series, including a very personal account of my own inner journey.

The images are available as posters and stand alone prints on various media, just click on the links on the right hand side of this page for details. I have also created an ebook that brings the original work together with some more recently shot material in the park. Click on the link on the side of this page to see some sample pages and get the download link.

Gu, darkness

Gu, Darkness

“Using a red filter I was able to enshroud the Grim Reaper like figure in a dark gloom. It is a pivotal place for the emerging consciousness: either fall into the abyss or look to the light and move toward it. In this image, named Gu, (from the sanskrit meaning darkness, a gu-ru then means a dispeller or remover of darkness… ru meaning remover) the glow of the horizon light and a small white cloud just appearing in the frame represent the latent potential of awakening.”

Deeksha, initiation

Deeksha, Initiation

“Clouds are moving across the darkened background sky to herald the beginning of a dynamic movement in consciousness, whilst the black cloaked figure holding the bright cross was positioned to create the full drama of spiritual initiation. Layers of sedimentary sandstone in the bottom right of the image, the deep shadows and broken rocks symbolise the layers of the unconscious, our genetic ancestral inheritance and all our past life experiences.”

Tantra, expansion

Tantra, Expansion

“The figure is surrounded by rocks exposed by the low tide, a perfect metaphor for the break up of old patterns and conditioning. It appears to be shaking off the mantle of heavy darkness as the conscious awareness expands into the pool of light it is reflected in. The rising mist represents this gradual metamorphosis, whilst the emerging background light is the advancing illumination of our whole being.”

Transformation

Transformation

“There is motion in the white figure which appears to be penetrating upwards and beyond the physical plane into the sky. This plane is represented by the finely eroded rock slab behind the figure that is angled skywards. The foreground is a beautiful section of cross-bedded sandstone and another reason for the choice of this location. It represents the refined layers of the psyche, the being having become lighter through all its transformational and awakening work in therapy and spiritual practice.”

Transcendence

Transcendence

“With the one second exposure and the red filter I was able to bring out the movement of the breaking wave and the spiralling cloth against the values of the now darkened sky. The movement of the cloth in the foreground represents the rising kundalini serpent and the breaking wave, the explosion of energy when the serpent fire is awakened.”

Samadhi, liberation

Samadhi, Liberation

“We had created an almost perfect flame like form with points top and bottom. However, the real beauty of this image is in the feel and texture of the white object created by the movement. It has has a cloak like opening at the top which relates to the shape we created in the Transformation image figure. It isn’t just a solid white object but a beautiful translucent entity evocative of a fully liberated being. Samadhi, liberation, mukti or enlightenment is the complete dissolution of any sense of duality.”