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A spiritual image

11 Feb 2016

A spiritual image Image

By Jack Hayes

To Antonia Hempel photography resonates much deeper spiritually than simply capturing an image – something the recently-graduated Photography Studies College (PSC) student has developed through nurture and nature.

Antonia’s most recent exhibition, Renewal, which ran from January 6 to February 3 at St Kilda Town Hall, delves into a level of consciousness that isn’t often accessed.

“Renewal is this idea of a resumption after an interruption. Interruption being our disconnect with nature and the resumption our connection back into nature,” Antonia said.

“It’s a meditative piece really – working with water specifically and using it as a symbol for connectivity of all living things. My message has been and always will be the idea of connectivity.”

Meditation for Antonia has become an integral part, not only of her life, but also her photography.

“I like to explore the idea of meditation to enable us to connect with the self, which evidently allows us to connect with a higher awareness and hopefully nudge the idea that, ultimately, everything is connected,” she said.

“It is not a forced meditation within the exhibition, it is just a space for everyone to sit, to watch and to be; rather than just stream past images in a gallery.”

Connecting with nature at a more spiritual level, and more specifically, water, is something Antonia says has been influenced enormously by the work of Japanese researcher Dr Masaru Emoto.

Dr Emoto documented the formation of water crystals that had been subject to a range of different words, prayers, photos, music and geography.

Water exposed to phrases such as “you fool”, “you disgust me” and “evil” produce deformed irregular crystal structures, whereas “love”, “peace” and “harmony” create beautiful uniform crystal structures.

“Water is only supposed to flow in a natural way, so in changing the chemical and molecular formation of this water, we are ingesting and surrounding ourselves by something that is vibrating on a frequency that it shouldn’t; which effects us at the microscopic level,” she said.

Along with Dr Emoto, Antonia credits much of her inspiration to her Argentinian husband Gaston.

“He (Gaston) has not only be an incredible assistant, creating many of the sounds for my installations, but also a continual source for guidance and motivation,” she said.

“I also have a beautiful man, and I appreciate his hard work with this project. His name is Ami Hasson and he is a ‘sound healer’. Basically he works with ancient, traditional and new age sound healing instruments. So I designed what I wanted and he played along with what I had already.”

As Antonia says, PSC became a huge part of her life and an integral opportunity to work collaboratively with students and teachers alike.

“It was great because it (PSC) is like a little community. It’s very nurturing. All the tutors very much look out for you, I don’t think I could have coped going to a big university and being a number. It was so rewarding, feeling a part of something here,” she said.

“The students really help each other out, they back you up and support you. After hours help from your teachers is incredible, they are happy to meet you or reply to emails. It is very unique.”

Now that her Renewal exhibition has finished, Antonia turns her attention to her next project.

“I’m showing a video that I am currently working on at the Globelight Festival at Abbotsford Convent later this year. I’m really excited for it because it is put on by one of my favourite Melbourne artists James Tapscott and he has started this festival where he showcases projection light, in art form,” she said.

“My husband Gaston will be doing the music for me again and we both will go into nature for the next six months and record more.”

Antonia Hempel:

Ami Hasson:


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