Fine Art Photographer Debra Achen is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay.  From the project ‘Transcendance’.  To see Debra ’s body of work, click on any image.

 

Out of Body

 

Break Through

 

Flight

 

The inspiration came to me as I was unpacking a box of masks…a cherished collection of my mother’s that I inherited on her passing. The masks are handmade by native cultures around the world. They “spoke” to me in a way, asking to be photographed. In a sense, working on this series offered me a unique way to stay connected with my mother’s spirit.

 

Reach

 

The “Transcendance” project draws conceptually from traditions of Shamanism and the Trance Dance experience. Through the ages, spiritual dancing has been embraced by cultures across the globe as a means to transcend our physical dimensions and connect with the Spirit world. Intuitive body movement and controlled breathing take the dancer on an inner voyage to a state of “trance.”

 

Refraction

 

Most cultures throughout history have used masks in social or religious rituals or pageants. In some native tribes, masks are worn during ceremonies enacted to communicate with the spirits of their ancestors. The mask becomes an instrument of sacred revelation, a link to an ancestral presence – a way of bringing the past into the present. To symbolize this connection, some native tribes don ritualistic masks. The mask becomes an instrument of communication with the spirit of their ancestors…a link bringing the past into the present.

 

Reintegration

 

The long exposures in the “Transcendance” images create a blur with the dance movement, a metaphor for the continual passage through time in which the masks appear. For the Shaman, the soul lives forever. Spirit and ancestry are one – an eternally evolving line of genetic connection and wisdom.

 

Voyage

 

All images and text © Debra Achen

 

 

See also:

Fire

By Debra Achen

 

 

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