How did I arrive at this fascination with imaginary beings?
Imagination is the discovering faculty, pre-eminently.
It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of Science.
It is that which feels & discovers what is, the real which we see not, which exists not for our senses.
Those who have learned to walk on the threshold of the unknown worlds,
by means of what are commonly termed par excellence the exact sciences,
may then with the fair white wings of Imagination hope to soar further
into the unexplored amidst which we live.
(Ada Byron, Countess Lovelace)
I've been sensitive to the appearance of personages in natural materials all my life, but it was my encounter with the 12th Imam (in 2014) that made it clear that I needed to seek out and document this facet of my life and experience. The result has been to further encourage my Imagination in its whimsical tendencies, and engage my (prodigious and so-tasteful) collecting proclivities with more photographs of stone and wood and ice.
Eight years and thousands of images later, each new foray discovers more fellow travelers leering toward and making moues at and sometimes self-consciously posing for my camera. Many are only revealed after I have processed the raw digital files, and the shyest of them are slow to appear and join the cast of characters. A few of the lithic persuasion have followed me home, and huddle for warmth around the woodstove.
My method is equal parts old-school street photography and long immersion in the study of portrait and vernacular photographs, but with beings found on rocky and sandy shorefront, and with subjects whose privacy probably isn't traduced, and by whom our interest is not received as an invasion of space and person. Rocks aren't asked to sign releases, and are inclined to wait patiently.
More of the last two years' work can be seen via
my Flickr Albums.
Discover Paul Prudence's Figured Stones:Exploring the Lithic Imaginary
...and consider Albrecht Dürer's pillows and the sad tale of Emperor Huizong's Collections
It's not what you look at that matters.
It's what you see.
The Midnight Library