Many years ago, during a difficult time in my life, I had an experience that shifted my landscape.
On a cold walk home, very late one night, I looked up and saw a full rainbow, shining brightly in a circle all the way around the moon. Everything stopped for me in that moment; all of my pain and loneliness evaporated, and my mind went still. For a few precious moments, I was fully present, my silent sense of wonder crowding out all of the noise that had been filling my head. Nothing existed except me, the moon, and its brilliant rainbow halo.
The unexpected beauty of that moment was enough to transform my pain into gratitude, and send me to bed with a sense of hope. Though I would not realize it for some time, I had also just been given a powerful glimpse into my life's work.
Photography, for me, is a way of seeking out moments of transformative awe and healing wonder. I love the act of creating in this medium because it is an art form that teaches me to be exactly where I am. It teaches me to be still, both physically and mentally, and forces me to really see what is in front of me. When I am successful, it is also an incredible tool of compassion and generosity, as I give these glimpses of awe and wonder to the viewer. It is almost as if I can package the moments of peace that I find in my own meditative art form, and offer them up as gifts for others to partake in.
My focus on providing art for healthcare settings stems from a desire to have the greatest possible impact with my art. The revelations of Evidence-Based Art research serve to confirm what I know intuitively: that the images I create can transport the viewer away from their current suffering to a moment of relief, an experience of awe that helps them leave behind anxiety and pain. A few slow breaths can be transformative, and I seek to provide my viewers with a space in which to take those breaths.
- Peter C. Blanchard