Thursday, December 13, 2012

where water and wonder meet

i love artistic people.

i love the creative spirit.

i love when i connect with someone's work so deeply that I try to inhale it, internalize it, make it seep in through my pores.

(although it simultaneously pains me that i can't possess it wholly, wrap myself in it, make it happen through my fingers, or my lens).

no, i am not above coveting.

speaking of which,

this is lori.

photo credit: lori landau
she is where water and wonder meet.

she is, among other things, a poet, an artist, a friend.

i have known her since i am 15.

as teens and college students, we wrote poetry together as we pined for boys, made sense of the world, yearned for more. i have always coveted her words.

now, i also covet her art.

i admit this. oh, how i do.

last night, i was lucky enough to attend the closing of her show Works in a Series at the New York Open Center  (a meshing of her work from Elemental Soul and Nature of Mind). Did I mention the photographs are all of water?

Truth is Nameless, archival print
credit: lori landau

that was one of the many that made me hyperventilate. . .

you can imagine how i was mesmerized. . .

this is also lori
At the end of the show, lori spoke a bit about her creative process and what moves her as an artist and a photographer:

"Every photograph, every painting, and every drawing I do starts from the same place: that small, nameless force inside that seeks connection to myself and the world around me. . .

Art making is not an act of doing—it is a way of being in the world, a way of filtering all of those ordinary moments we all have—of being mindful about the little things: the way the light touches the top of the mountain when the sun is coming up. . . the sound of the ocean when you realize that it is breathing just like you are."

the audience listened, rapt, as she continued:

Breath of Light, archival print
credit: lori landau
"I don’t think you need to make art to get this. You just need to open to the experience.  

Both making art and viewing it are acts of deep listening, of deep feeling.
I know that you get this . . . 

We are all vulnerable. We all want to understand a little more about mystery.

We want to touch it. We want to be it.

We all want to matter."

when you look at lori's photographs,

you feel,

you connect,

but moreso, there is a certain tranquility, coupled with a stirring,

that allows you to open yourself, breathless,

to be moved.

in this way, her art matters.


If her photographs are tranquil, her paintings demand a bit more,

they pull and push,

they promise comfort, but house pain.

they evoke our own discomfort

but offer a path to calm.

top left Yama; top right: Dharana
middle left: Vyadhi; middle right: Tapasya
bottm left: dhyana; bottom right: Samadhi

4 x 5 paintings acrylic on canvas

credit: lori landau

". . . my desire is to do something with my feelings, to rise above them, to transform them, to transcribe my own interior. I consider my camera, pen & brush an extension of my hands, a translator of the “everyday me” a way to evoke the idealized part of myself. . . The photographs and paintings here rain into my heart and my hands from somewhere other than self, but I recognize myself more clearly when they arrive."

This particular show of Lori's closes today, but there will be more, trust me, and when there are,

you should go see them.



be moved.

"Photography and art remind me that
like water,
everything is constantly changing. . . 
(they) are a visual documentation of where I have been,
the only way,
other than memory,
to hold on to something. "
- gae


More about Lori:

Writer, artist and photographer Lori Landau’s work explores the intimate connection between meditative and creative states. As a certified yoga and meditation teacher, Landau is deeply inspired by the Buddhist concept of interconnectedness. A spiritual nomad at heart, her work
symbolizes her exploration of sacred mystery.

Her articles and poetry have been published in a wide range of magazines, books and blogs; most recently, in the upcoming An Anthology of Babes: 26 (or 30) Women Give Motherhood a Voice." In addition, Landau is a visual artist, whose work has been exhibited in several group and solo shows. Her concept-driven and interdisciplinary art spans a range of mediums, including photography, drawing and painting. Landau regularly uses her art and words as a platform to raise consciousness about both global and meta issues.

You can find more of her work on her own blog,, as well as the women’s section of
Finally, her new monthly column for iPinion will debut this Sunday! 


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