Chris L Jones
Biography 4 Transformation

Biography 4 Transformation

So on the one hand I was doing ads for American Express and spending time in corporate boardrooms and industrial plants, and on the other I was shining light into my interior world. They couldn't have been more different. 

Reading soon evolved from personal development (Louise Hay and Shakti Gawain) to the study of eastern mysticism, and in particular, Yogananda's timelessly popular Autobiography of a Yogi that began a chain of thought leading to my Transformation series. I set out to create a sequence of images that outlined the path to enlightenment as described in the book, and because I was using large format 5x4 cameras in my commercial work, I wanted to aspire to the same quality output in this project. 

Having committed to exhibit the series in a group show with Jim Rolon, Bob Baxter and Jon Bader called The Others, I had set a necessary deadline. The idea for using the intimate landscape of the Royal National Park came from some earlier bushwalking trips, and by adding shrouded metaphoric figures to carefully selected landscapes I had found a way to tell the story. It was an aptly named show as I was entering uncharted photographic territory by focusing on the "spiritual". 

During my many trips to the park it slowly revealed its natural riches, all the while soaring fish eagles effortlessly drifted on the updrafts created by precipitous sandstone cliffs. It was hard not to feel the guiding hand of Yogananda himself because the whole process was so magical. 

This image is Deeksha, or initiation and you can find some of the series in the Spirit Collection. Sinar 5x4 camera, Kodak sheet film, 90mm Schneider lens.


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