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Dancing Spirit Trees 01
Dancing Spirit Trees

Thomas
Allen
Bethune
Fine Art
Photography

 

Spirit Tree Series

Sky Dance 01
Sky Dance
2213 - Spirit Tree Series Number One
Spirit Tree Series Number One
A Trail Through the Alder-268
A Trail Through the Alder
2221 - Spirit Tree Series Number Two
Spirit Tree Series Number Two

The photographs in the series that I titled Spirit Trees are part of an ongoing project that I started in the early nineteen-eighties. That was a period in my life where I was starting to see the Divine in everything. It was also the time when I moved to the redwood forest. I spent a great amount of time in the woods, and was drawn to the remnants of the ancient forest – the old snags.

Emergence
Emergence
Spirit Tree Series Number Ten
Spirit Tree Series Number Ten

These snags were like shrines to the past and glorious old-growth forest. I saw that even though they did not appear to be alive that there was a spiritual force within and without each specimen. They inspired me to look deeper and to photograph.

9042 - Spirit Tree Series Number Three
Spirit Tree Series Number Three

Back then I was using my Kodak Korona four-by-five view camera. That camera was very much like the ancient forest; wooden and old. Over the years I attempted quite a few photographs of these subjects. I did not fully succeed in conveying what I saw and felt. My photographs did not reveal what I knew I wanted to share.

It was only in the past couple of years that I managed to convey in my prints what it is that I desired to share all these years. The recent advances in digital photography have allowed me the opportunities to “grow into the medium.” I now feel that I have the tools and knowledge to convey in my images what I think they revealed to me.

9073 - Spirit Tree Series Number Four
Spirit Tree Series Number Four
9082 - Spirit Tree Series Number Five
Spirit Tree Series Number Five

I feel that art gives us the opportunities to share the unknown, and that it allows us to find the unseen that we may call “the mystery.” I was inspired by the works of Minor White and some of the other contemplative photographers of the twentieth century. I feel that I have succeeded in manifesting my vision whenever that sense of Spirit or the Divine manages to assert itself in an image. The act of photographing, processing, printing and framing images becomes a meditation. Each is a part of a greater meditation or prayer. I trust that the viewer will receive their own revelations as they share in these images.

9086 - Spirit Tree Series Number Six
Spirit Tree Series Number Six
Spirit Tree Series Number Seven, Dry Lagoon 2010
Spirit Tree Series Number Seven,
Dry Lagoon, 2010

One through six of the SPIRIT TREES SERIES were taken in 2008 and 2009 inside Prairie Creek State Park near my home in northern California. These images represent the experience that they gave to me. Like the giant snags these “lesser” trees of the forest floor have their own unique qualities. Perhaps, to the casual eye, they are almost lost in the shade and grandeur of the surrounding giant redwoods. Yet they hold their own. They have a lighter, but powerful spirit that positively glows.

I find that it is beyond my ability with words to describe these images, and all I can add is that I trust that the images will speak to you, and that what you sense will be unique.  

 

Printed with archival inks
In 24"x 32" frames, $450; $350 matted (unframed).
In 20"x 26" frames, $400; $325 matted (unframed).
In 18"x 24" frames, $300; $225 matted (unframed).
In 16"x 20" frames, $225; $175 matted (unframed).

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