Portals Into Stillness

As a small child I remember laying in bed at night searching within my consciousness for the source of my thoughts. Where did they come from and whose voice was saying them? As I quietly listened for the next thought I felt a vast spaciousness then my entire body lit up like it was full of electricity!

I realised that someone or something was listening, observing these thoughts - there was somehow more to "this" and I was curious for answers and how to explore further. Where and who is this observer? Is it me or some part of the larger space? What does this mean and what is even real? Who am I? What am I? Who is everyone else and are they thinking these things? And the always present... why am I here, alive?

Many years have passed since that special experience and somewhere along the way with study and meditation I realised past and future only exist in our minds. The past is a loose recreation based on incomplete memories warped by perceptions and beliefs, the future is an imaginary prediction based on those memories, beliefs and perceptions. Neither are places of peace and happiness for most people. It's abiding in the present moment we find peace.

Having always been curious about "being" when anything came along that helped to explore or alter my experience I have been interested to find out more. When I started exploring photography I found the process of creating images a portal into the present moment and a readily accessible calming stillness.

I like how photography captures time in a sense; a moment frozen forever or sometimes a series of moments merged together. Done well it captures something that elevates it to art. I love shooting from unusual angles and techniques, playing with light, colour, composition and time! Importantly photography requires being somewhere, being present, watching, exploring places and people. Seeing things both as they are and as they might be.

Of course there's still no real answers to my questions, maybe more clarity and acceptance life's about what you make of it. The curiosity, mind and heart continue to open.

My hope is you enjoy the work and take a moment to find the stillness, peace and presence within.

I'm based in the beautiful Art Deco City of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Most of the work shared here is created from my favourite places around Hawke's Bay and there's some from occasional trips around New Zealand.

Any questions, requests or feedback please contact.

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Thanks for your interest in my work - it's very much appreciated!

–Brena Smith


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