Crying Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand, 2006
I was privileged to have a Thai Buddhist monk live in my home for two years. From him I learned the words acceptance, karma, and the power of the mind to transcend the barriers of place and space. When I went to Thailand and saw this Buddha, I loved his imperfections.
As a child, I found the dogma of religion to be confusing. In church there were places of escape, such as the colours of stained glass, the beauty of music, the smell of incense, but the images I remember from my Christian upbringing were those of pain and suffering.
This impression was reinforced by the two years I spent at a convent school. Being hit for the first time in my life, I learned guilt. Although later Christian experiences were much easier, it never made sense to me to preach love and forgiveness, yet practice fear and punishment.
How many times have you been in a place where you feel the presence of the past? It is a strange and very powerful feeling. If all matter is energy then it seems logical to suggest that the energy of great massacres, of great love of great events may leave an imprint on that place where such dramatic events occurred.
Photography for me is a type of communion with my subject. Like everybody else I take photographs which have little meaning. But sometimes I sense an underlying value in the land, a group of people, a location, and then I make photograph, which is satisfying to myself.
To me, I am alive; and my life and the life of everything in the world is connected. For me, it is that universality that is the basis of my idea of the spiritual.
- Abridged from the catalogue accompanying Joyce Evans’ Imaging The Spiritual exhibition, held at Obscura Gallery, Balaclava, 2010.