Collective inspiration… the sum is far greater than the individual contributions.
“I am not going to say much here; the creators of this collection have their own statements. I will say that these images are the culmination of Chi-town artists inspired by an earthSista as their muse. The collective experience is, at times, humorous and tense and always real as they all come together to make it happen. Artist and filmmaker Paul Branton, Photographer Tracy Lynn Deis and earthSista Queen Hadassah Esther share a colorful experience with the rest of us….”
“I found my passion for photography in the strangest of ways. All my life I watched my siblings shoot, and I never thought I was artistic or creative enough to do what they did. I met a man whose photography I loved, and when I asked how to do it, he said, just shoot. I thought he was being silly. Right before my daughter’s birthday, I could not find my little point and shoot camera. I looked and looked for it before I finally gave up and bought a more advanced camera.
After her birthday party, I went shooting the people on Devon Street. Within an hour, I had 173 images on my camera, and I was hooked. I posted them on Facebook, and I was BLOWN away by the response. People loved my work. People started asking me to take their portraits, and that is how TLD Photography was born.
About six months later, I found my old, rinky dink camera locked in my safe. The irony of locking something away was not lost on me. I never looked back after that. I gave that camera to my daughter, Trinity, and went on to buy two more professional cameras.
I guess I should not have been surprised with the way I captured people in my camera. I have always been an empath and a people watcher. I’ve always been in tune to the emotions of complete strangers. I’ve often looked at someone and wondered what they were going through, I wanted to know more about them. What I did not know was that I was capable of capturing that same curiosity through my lens.
It was also around this time that I lost my job. Over the course of the year, I lost my home, my life savings, and my credit. I no longer question why it took 40 years to find my artistic calling. God put a camera in my hands to save my life. Looking at His work through my lens helped me put things in a new perspective. I had a purpose that was larger than making money and only second to serving Him and being a parent. Through my camera, I am able to catch what people miss.
As a result of this, I have a new gratitude for the world around me. Most of my life, I’ve walked around lost. I cannot say that anymore because I have found my purpose. If I can change the way one person thinks through looking at it with a new perspective, then I know I am fulling God’s purpose for my life.”
“The mystery and beauty of women have always intrigued me, especially the women of color that have played major roles in my life. It was not until recently that these important figures found their way to my canvas. In an effort to document the trials, triumphs, the grace, the destruction of the slew of black women that have impacted my life, I started a series of paintings called Urban Queens. It’s in these paintings that I have been able to deal with the multiple issues and levels of what I have observed in these women. A vast majority of these works comes from one model. This allowed an opportunity to enhance the Urban Queens series by crossing the medium line and blending painting with photography. The results for teaming up with the unique eye of this photographer and the natural beauty of this model was phenomenal images that can never be duplicated. Without words the images say almost everything the Urban Queen series intended.”
“Leaping; springing up; joy; gladness; myrtle. Star; the planet Venus; happiness; good fortune.
The myrtle is a lovely evergreen shrub or moderate-sized tree, having white flowers. Both leaves and flowers give out a very pleasant odor. Among the ancient Greeks the myrtle was sacred to Venus as the symbol of youth and beauty; it was used extensively at festivals. It is symbolic of the life principle, ever vital and renewing.
Hadassah, the Jewish name of Esther, represents the joy, youthfulness, activity, and beauty of the soul established in a consciousness of the abidingness and potency of divine life and love. The dissolving power of spiritual love; this is an antidote for a dictatorial will.
Queen Esther had all her relatives, the Jews (spiritual thoughts), join her in a fast. This means that we must deny all selfish desires out of love before we use it in softening the imperious will. When this consciousness of love stands in the inner court of our being we cannot help acceding to its demands. Unselfish love is fearless, because of its forgetfulness to self. Will divides its dominion with love when approached in the right attitude, which is by touching the highest point of the understanding (top of the golden scepter). Understanding of Divine Law is the one necessary thing in all permanent unions. When we know the Truth we all are one and there is no separation whatsoever.”
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