Marja-Leena Rathje
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Colbert's 'Ashes & Snow'


Gregory Colbert image from 'Ashes and Snow' via CTV News article

Just by chance (isn't that the best way?), I came across a fascinating article about Canadian photographer Gregory Colbert, who has spent ten years getting close to wild animals and photographing them as they interact with humans.

'Canadian-born Colbert set out to depict humans interacting with wild animals, to display what he calls the "common language" shared by all living things.

His 'Ashes and Snow' exhibit winds through Kenya, Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Namibia, Antarctica and Borneo. Its rich visuals are printed in sepia tones, depicting a world without buildings and electricity, where people and animals are equals and friends.

"What I am doing is radically simple," Colbert told CTV. "It's the same thing the cave painters would do or the bush men try, to express the music of not just human beings, but of other species."'

'Ashes & Snow' is installed in a special architect designed and very beautiful travelling museum, the Nomadic Museum, and is presently at Santa Monica Pier, California. For us armchair viewers, there's a gorgeous interactive website that you must visit. Plan to spend some longer quiet meditative time looking through the beautiful images, some of which look like fine drawings. Be sure to move your mouse around the image screen to see the thumbnails for more! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Marja-Leena | 27/01/2006 | 5 comments
themes: Art Exhibitions, Photography


Näin Colbertin haastattelussa sunnuntain aamuohjelmassa "Breakfast with The Aert". Kuten sanoit, fantastinen, henkeäsalpaava!

I don't know what to say, except that the interactive show choked me up so deeply that I started crying. Some of the narrative that was spoken gave me inspiration for a book. And the strangest part of all was the design eerily similar to my new blog design that I'm working on. I hope Gregory Colbert makes it to Japan. I would love to see his exhibition.

Sikuri, ai kun minä olisin halunut nähdä sen ohjelman. Colbert on uusi minulle ja ihmeellinen!

Oh, Miguel, I'm so pleased you have visited and that you found Colbert's show so moving! I thought maybe I'm being too sentimental but I, too, found this very deeply affecting. I wish I could see his exhibition, too. I look forward to seeing your new blog design!

Marja-leena: I didn't want to download the updated version of the plug-in to view the interactive exhibit. But even the portfolio pictures are moving. I think of how little value people put on animals today. That's a generalization - but I mean how we treat the animals that are raised as food, or that yield food. And conversely, how we revere our pets so that millions of dollars are spent annually on them. And to see these animals in the wild, with such poses of reverance both by the animals and I can understand why some Buddhist monks are cautious to not enough step on ants when they walk.

Jackie, that's exactly my feeling, that our priorities are pretty screwed up in today's world! I get such a sense of peace, timelessness and eternity watching these images and listening to the music and words, imagining another world from the past.