July Featured Artist: Angela Kaja Ferro

July Featured Artist: Angela Kaja Ferro

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HCwBB will now feature an artist each month on the blog – Angela is the first. Each artist will write a little about where they’re at with their work, show us some of their new stuff, and we’ll cover our Instagram in our favourite shots of their work for about a week. 

I went to New Zealand with a lot of grief in my heart. I’d been in Australia after returning from New York, and somehow in that process I’d lost my purpose and my spirit. I was seeking to document the real and the rawly beautiful, craving authenticity and struggling to find it, yet not quite understanding what my path should look like. Somehow this saw me book a one-way flight to Auckland – very much removed from Berlin, the place I’d actually intended to go – and despite my little to no planning, felt instinctively that roaming further into the Antipodes would give me clarity and resolve.

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Then I discovered the mountains. It was one thing to see them in photographs, but to be confronted with them in person moved me incredibly – how they move, I’d wager, most people. They grace the landscape with such striking, unapologetic drama that awe and tears sometimes spilled out of me in equal measure. All I could focus on was the alpine light and how I could best capture it on camera. Hike, shoot, edit, repeat.

Everything turns into an intriguing adventure when you’re surrounded by passionate, curious people. There were many wondrously starry nights sharing food and stories with folks from all over who felt like family, laughing until we cried and marvelling that any of us had the good fortune and privilege to be there at all – one of the unifying aspects of travel that makes it so soul-quenching and addictive. Above all, it was what seemed like one long practical lesson in perceived synchronicity: chance, fate and destiny. Anything seemed possible in a place like that; it seemed to have a heightened connection to the divine.

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Then one day I sat down next to a Swiss boy with soft dark curls and warm hazel eyes, playing ukulele at a lake. We travelled in my van together for several joyous weeks (until his regretful return to Europe), exploring the back country and waking up to a new wild view every day. We camped in secluded spaces where there was nothing but trees and lakes and blessed quiet, making music by firelight and growing an unexpectedly profound, beautiful love for each other. We clambered around (often where we probably shouldn’t have) the surreal mountainscape, the long summer dusks affording us deep pauses on summits to sit and be. With infinite patience and encouragement he taught me the art of balancing on steep, rocky inclines and navigating slippery glacial moraine as we ascended higher and faster than I would have otherwise dared. Sometimes we got so lost in the magic of above that we were forced to descend on questionable terrain by moon and torch. These challenges not only allowed me access to places that pushed my work into another realm of possibility, but the sweat – and sometimes, blood – was a tangible investment of energy into the images I captured.

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I began to realise that my seeking — craving — of nature was a seeking of myself: to consciously remove myself from human fabricated problems, social conditioning and inane lifestyle baggage. To be confronted with the solitude, the oneness and the prime, and sit with it with presence and peace. That perspective shift changed how I knew how to be, and to understand that was to understand a little deeper the human spirit.

Slowly I found myself again, in the mountains, with that marvellous boy by my side. How I want to live.

All images and words: Angela Kaja Ferro

Editing: Bri Lee

One Response

  1. Congratulations. Enjoyable read. Look forward to the monthly addition.

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