Royston E. Naylor

a.k.a. Stone

My love affair with photography started in the early 80s (although we’d been friends since my early teens). She’s not a jealous lover; she allows me to flirt and play with all her sisters (the Muses often share their lovers, it seems) so Music and Dance often join us in a synergy of inspirations!

To watch a song decrypted in a dance, to hear the movement weaving webs of light, to feel my soul transported from within, I feel the need to share the gift of sight.

Back down to earth, the moment gone, but maybe just a hint of it remains?
Perhaps a frozen moment, clear and sharp, or maybe swirling traces, impressions that the naked eye alone cannot perceive. Optical theory, Alchemical lens: science, craft or art? (or all?)
A picture tells a thousand words; the viewer tells the tale, but can I write with words of light to show behind the veil?

My photography unfolds like some kind of quest, trying to capture the essence of life’s defining moments, attuning to the synchronistic flow that offers fleeting glimpses into the weft and warp of the never-ending now. We try so hard to impose some kind of order on what we see as chaos, but the fractal patterns of life and nature are already there – it’s our ability to perceive them that needs constant attuning and refining.

In 1999 I visited the remote Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh and was invited to photograph and record some of the ceremonies at Lamayuru Monastery festival. The ritual chanting, music and dance of Tibetan Buddhism contains tantalising clues as to the connectedness of all things, a microcosmic insight of universal proportions.
Our constant search for the true nature of consciousness is undoubtedly reflected in artistic endeavour, and everyone has the potential to tap into this cosmic store.

Whilst photographing African dance instructor, Rebecca Jeffery, for the cover of Devon’s ‘Connect’ magazine, she told me an old Malawi proverb: ‘If you can walk, you can dance’. But just as dance is not about movement alone, so photography is not just about seeing, and certainly not only with your eyes. Whatever it is that makes something ‘art’ probably comes from the heart, but it takes the mind to make it real… and spirit to guide it.

Selfie with John Peel, 1995

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