Transitions: Aphra Pia: Reaching
Trees are not only among the most beautiful and fascinating works of nature, they are also useful in innumerable ways. Primitive man depended upon trees for many of the essentials of life, constructing homes, rafts, canoes, and many weapons, tools and utensils from wood, as well as roof thatch, woven fabrics, and baskets from bark and leaves. Fruits and nuts constituted an important part of the diet, while medicines, spices and dyes were also derived from trees.
Many cultures have built up a body or lore regarding trees. The ancient Celtic Druids worshiped holly because the evergreen leaves symbolized the return of the light and warmth of summer after the long, dark winter. Likewise, yews symbolized everlasting life to early Christian missionaries: to this day yews are commonly associated with church yards. Believing they could ward off rheumatism, American pioneers often carried buckeye seeds in their pockets. The ritual of a Christmas tree is with us today, and dowsers still believe a forked branch of Witch-hazel can locate underground water: however, most of the superstitions surrounding trees have disappeared. Man’s fascination with trees continues in modern guise, in his desire to know how to identify and learn more about trees.
Aphra Pia is a native of California where she earned a BA in Art and Interior Design at San Jose State. In 1976 she initiated and still maintains her own design firm. An award winning photographer, her images have been featured in solo and group exhibitions such as: the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, Photo Central in Hayward, the EBUD Oakland Administration Gallery, San Pablo Arts Gallery and the University of California at Davis. . . Her photographs of the Uyghur people were displayed in The Hague, as part of the UNPO: Unrepresented Nations& Peoples Organization’s twentieth anniversary.
The early years of Aphra’s photography were spent photographing in the Sierras. Currently, as an avid traveler, she focuses on places where the feeling of space and freedom is the subject, i.e. Alaska, Antarctica, Africa, Iceland, Patagonia and National Parks in the United States. She is also partial to places that convey the sense a time past, i.e. China, Bhutan, Cambodia and Cuba.
Her images present a compassionate view of old cultures and ethnic people, landscapes, and close-ups. The images are underplayed and modest, the kind of quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. They are fragmentary glimpses of our world, i.e. the relationships of color in the land, waters and sky, dimensional repetition of texture, real or implied. Subtle backgrounds on which natural, rich color introduces itself are presented as semi-abstract graphic compositions of natural elements.
Aphra’s goal is to have the viewer see beneath the obvious. ”I want them to empathize with a stranger, to cradle the flower in their hand, to feel the cold, to lift their faces to the sky and to see the relationship of each to the other.”
Books: Passing Through - images and musings on after death
Wanderlust – travel images and poetry
Silken Threads From the Past - celebrates the Uyghur people and their culture
(Includes comments from Uyghur refugees.)