Voices for Biodiversity

Outsider Nature Art Photography

If Rock|Stone speaks – what does it say?

These fine-art, photographic, naturally-sculpted works, which underscore the magic and fluidity of perception, were chosen for inclusion in a pioneering 2010 publication. This publication, written by geo-artist and paleontologist Andrea Baucon, traces the history of geology in art beginning with the works of Leonardo da Vinci and including many international contemporary artists of the day. In an effort to engage people with the earth in new ways, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also included these pieces in one of their 2009 publications, along with works by several other talented international artists.

Even though I'd grown up in the country and in retrospect considered it a refreshing advantage, I suddenly found myself remarkably stunned after setting out on what I thought was going to be an exclusively artistic photographic pursuit. On that first day, as I scoured the ancient volcanic geology of the Santa Monica mountain range, noted to be from 12 to 200 million years old (and a range that geologists say has disappeared into the sea and reemerged again on more than one occasion), I soon realized how alarmingly blind I had been most of my life about the magnificence of our earth and my intertwined relationship with it. I had never fully recognized the mind boggling intelligence, the pulsating power, the mysteriously artistic beauty and profoundly healing nature of our planet. I found it alive. It speaks, imparts knowledge, even guides us when we choose to listen.

Curious if I could actually (pursue) realize my newly-imagined artistic interest, I soon found myself standing in jaw dropping awe when I recognized an iconic image. An image once honored as public art, (and) considered sacred and revered for its life enhancing, evil-averting elements. In realizing the beauty of these stunning images, (sites' stunning beauty), a beauty I had not yet recognized in myself, and after years of personal estrangement, I suddenly remembered an ancient and profoundly valuable healing belief: We are all one with the Earth and the Earth is one with us! I was so moved by this revelation that I went on to use the same rock subject in a different lighting to create a multicultural representation in hopes that all women, perhaps especially those who had experienced sexual violent assault, could see themselves reflected in nature in this extraordinarily healing way.

Eventually, what sprung forth was the most valuable understanding that everything on this earth, indeed everything in our entire universe, is alive, vibrating and profoundly connected as One. To my abundant joy, I also knew that this included the naturally sculpted rock images I had begun to hunt. Whether in my imagination or from an "other" source, these haunting, naturally mother-nature-sculpted images continue to speak to me. As if reading the rock landscapes by braille, I am most often led to them. At times they speak softly while at other times they (must) call out loudly with an insistence on being noticed.  I have come to understand them as the embodied spirit culture of our earth. In all nomadic and hunting tribes there is the belief that stones are the bones of Mother Earth.

For the gift of this artistic journey, the sacred knowledge and profound healing that has been imparted to me from all forms of life on this planet – I am eternally grateful.

National Geographic | Four Corners Region | Geotourism
Outsider Nature Art Photography

Photos are copyright protected and are used by permission of j. Madison Rink.

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