Thin Places


THIN PLACES – Jessica K Rosenberg – January, 2017

"There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything; I feel it though I do not see it.  It is this unseen power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses.”

          - Mahatma Ghandi in his Spiritual Message to the World in 1931


A thin place is a place of special energy. The place itself calls you.  It is a place where the distance between this planet and another world is diminished. We do not perceive these places simply with our five senses; experiencing them goes beyond those limits.  They are referenced in many cultures, and throughout history.  I first learned other people were experiencing them too while reading Carlos Castaneda when he mentioned finding your “spot” or “place” in the world.  I then proceeded to look for those places.  My thin places are diverse: slot canyons, the Negev desert, redwood forests, the watery Virgin Islands, many mountainous areas and most recently, certain sites in Ireland. 

If I review my photographs over the years, I find that water and land forms have dominated my attention.  Currents in the ocean become meditative studies.  Old growth forests transport me to other times.  Certain canyons initiate music only I can hear. 

The pieces in this show represent three areas of the world:  the ocean, Antelope Canyon in northern Arizona and The Burren in County Clare, Ireland.  For the two-color pieces, I used photos I took on location, printed them on clay slabs, sculpted them to create the 3-dimensional, topographic, aspect and then fired them.  The ocean pieces are white clay mixed with colorants, rolled into thin sheets and layered to evoke a sense of motion in water and sky.