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About the Project

According to Celtic tradition, the physical and spiritual realms are never far apart.  In the world’s Thin Places, heaven and earth are even closer. Sometimes the distance between the two is only tissue thin. 

This idea of Thin Places became increasingly resonant for me over the last several years as I noticed how often a special location would figure in the stories of friends and acquaintances. Finding a place of solitude or transcendence seemed to be pivotal when they faced challenges, crises, or simply needed escape. 

I wanted to share these intimate stories of ordinary people connecting with the world around us. I love the idea that there’s beauty and magic in the everyday and all we have to do is to take the time to notice it. Not only does it strengthen a sense of connectedness to the natural world, but also to each other.

Given the personal nature of the subject matter, I found it to be remarkable that so many individuals were willing not only to share the stories of their Thin Places, but also allow me to document them. Each shoot became a sacred exchange. I found that using analog film cameras slowed down the process of photographing, giving me time to wait for something magic to happen and then press the shutter. 

As I continued to explore that first phase of the Thin Places project, I felt more and more drawn to visit the conceptual source of the Thin Places experience. I decided to travel to Isle Iona, a remote island off the coast of Scotland to photograph. When I arrived, I was overwhelmed by this feeling of ancient peacefulness, awe and an otherworldly presence. It felt like the edge of the earth and very far away from the concerns of my day-to-day life. Analog and instant film cameras were my medium of choice, and I paired my images with the words of ancient mystics and John Philip Newell, former warden of Iona Abbey. 

In early 2020, soon after returning from Iona, Thin Places Project took a new turn as a result of the pandemic. Since I was unable to document everyone else’s Thin Places, I spent my time in lockdown searching for the thin places in my immediate surroundings. Throughout my time working on this project, people have often asked me about my thin place, and I feel as though I truly had time to explore that question in this third movement of the project. For the first time since I can remember, I had nothing but time to explore and photograph. It was such a gift to make photography part of my daily practice. I experimented with 8x10 Polaroids, tintypes, cyanotypes, black and white and color film, and continued to shoot instant film as well. I decided to compile all of these images as part of a 365 project; a photo a day paired with the writing of mystics, artists, and writers who were able to put into words something of what I was trying to capture in images. The third phase of my project was about my own sense of discovery at the magic of the familiar; the thin places that are everywhere.

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