A Higher Order of Beauty

Trash Can Pieta, Jim Trahan

Artist Statement

Being Cajun, I was raised as a Catholic. However, there was an almost pantheistic component to it from being so deeply intertwined with the land. In my teens I found my experience of ecology and theology realized in Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s, “Hymn of the Universe”. For the first time I was able to feel comfortable being Christian with zealously held beliefs regarding nature.

One of the Four Great Vows is that “Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them”. I search for moments when a higher order of beauty is revealed to me and I photograph it. Perhaps I am like a bird photographer but instead of chasing birds I am chasing moments where the true nature of the universe appears to me. This could be in a burger wrapper, a tire in a field, or the way light makes a drum of garbage look sympathetic.

I photograph using film because I find it more satisfying, challenging. My night photography is made using long exposures on slow film. I guess each exposure based upon experience since I cannot use a meter when it is this dark. Each photo feels like a shot from a bow.

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