artist's statement on 

all things bright and beautiful


All Things Bright and Beautiful, was written by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) and originally published in her 1848 book, Hymns for Little Children.  This simple poem has not only become a standard hymn sung by many denominations to the traditional hymn tune, Royal Oak, arranged in 1915 by Martin Shaw, but has also been the inspiration for thousands of other artistic endeavors.  Royal Oak has been arranged for everything imaginable: cell phone, choir, piano, organ, hand bells, elementary bands, brass bands, calliope, harp, harmonica, guitar, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, tuba chorus, and more.  The words have been set to hundreds of other tunes, most notably by Monk.  Perhaps the most famous artistic expression is James Herriotís book of the same name, but there are also paintings, stained glass windows, childrenís books, stencils, topiary, cross stitch,  birdhouses, crafts, DVDís, two movies, and thousands of websites.


In this collection of photographs, I am calling photo-hymnody, I am not attempting to illustrate the hymn, but rather to express its meaning through photography.   The idea that this world is bright and beautiful has provided an abundance of images. Some of these images have been selected from the thousands I have taken through the years for other purposes, but many have been prepared specifically for this exhibit.  In some cases I have sought out scenes that I imagined while singing the hymn over and over.  Some required that I return to the site day after day, week after week to obtain the illumination I had seen in my mindís eye.  Some sprang upon me as I hiked through the mountains or along a stream.  All of them speak to me of the unimaginable beauty of this world and of our duty to attempt to protect it for future generations.


I hope that you enjoy viewing these images and that at least one of them sings to you!


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