(in front of Warhol flower prints, Naoshima art island, Spring 2017)
I am an artist inspired by gardens and the transformation that happens when you are in a garden. The rational and the lyrical, the formal and the abstract, the known and the unknown – it all exists within a flower, and within the walls of a Zen garden. A limitless world is accessible at any moment, and sitting quietly in a garden, feeling it, is one way to experience this.
Now if it is possible to fall in love with a city, for me, the city is Kyoto, Japan. I felt the call long before I went there, and as soon as I arrived it was as if I had come home to something deeply familiar – the source of my inspiration. This is where my in-depth training as a garden photographer began.
simplicity of line – harmony of proportion – equality of attention
These are the principal design elements I learned to see in the gardens of Kyoto. During one year-long stay I was fortunate to work with garden designer Kinsaku Nakane and photographer Katsuhiko Mizuno, both masters of their art forms. This launched me on a 20-year career as a professional garden photographer. Through the years and the seasons I have returned, and the feeling remains constant – Kyoto is home to the highest aesthetic level on the planet.
A garden is a setting for an experience that takes place on multiple levels – simultaneously sensual, aesthetic and spiritual. In fact, this experience is the intended result of a well-designed garden. Can this be faithfully represented in an image ? This is the goal of learning to see as a garden photographer. But you don’t have to be a photographer. Anyone can learn to see … and be transformed in the process of doing so. And the gardens of Kyoto are the perfect setting for this to happen.