1996-2019  •  Ryan J. Bush, Ph.D.  •  all rights reserved

LOCATION

650-766-5854

4010 Moorpark Avenue

Suite #216

San Jose, CA 95117 

PRODUCTS & OFFERINGS

  • wide range of museum-quality, limited edition photographs, both framed and unframed

  • books on art, poetry, and consciousness

  • in-person and online workshops and presentations

  • video art, meditation downloads

  • one-on-one consultation and coaching, to increase creativity and artistic vision, and make progress on personal and spiritual development

ABOUT

Ryan J. Bush, Ph.D. is a fine-art photographer, author of The Music of Trees and co-author of A Singing Wire, and Reiki master/teacher based in Los Gatos, California. He has been photographing seriously since 1996, using techniques such as abstraction, multiple exposure, 3-D photography, and video art to explore themes of consciousness, oneness, our connection with nature, and the sacred hidden in the mundane.

RYAN BUSH PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing the Divine  (2004 - 2007)

This series of photographs, which is featured in my second book A Singing Wire, are meditations on how to express the inexpressible. Not only can it be difficult to talk with people of different backgrounds or belief systems, it can be remarkably difficult it is to describe the Divine. After all, spiritual discussions are filled with complicated verbal gymnastics like “God is a circle of infinite radius, with its center being everywhere, and its perimeter being everywhere”, which leave most people scratching their heads. 

About the series

This series of photographs, which is featured in my second book A Singing Wire, are meditations on how to express the inexpressible. Not only can it be difficult to talk with people of different backgrounds or belief systems, it can be remarkably difficult it is to describe the Divine. After all, spiritual discussions are filled with complicated verbal gymnastics like “God is a circle of infinite radius, with its center being everywhere, and its perimeter being everywhere”, which leave most people scratching their heads. 

 

Put another way, if the Divine isn’t a bearded old white guy, what is the Divine like? How can we express the inexpressible? Having a Ph.D. in Linguistics has helped me appreciate the huge expressive power of language, but language still fails when trying to describe the mystery of the Divine. Words can point us in the right direction, but after a certain point we have to go beyond, into the space beyond words.

 

To create the photographs in this series, I take phrases that have been particularly meaningful to me related tospirituality, and write them over and over again, meditating on their meaning. After filling up a number of pages with a repeated phrase, I stack the sheets on top of each other and photograph them lit from beneath, so multiple layers show through. Each layer of words adds meaning and echoes what came before, but also partially obscures the original message, just as how spiritual ideas are passed down through time, with layers of interpretation and reinterpretation building up, until the result millenia layer may not match the original intent.

 

The photographs only show small parts of the writing, so the full phrase cannot be read, as if every spiritual tradition is drawing part of a vast map that is beyond any one tradition to comprehend. It may be difficult to even make out individual letters due to the multiple layers of writing, or because some phrases are written in other languages, like Russian or German. The difficulty in reading the letters and words reflects the difficulty we have in understanding the divine, and in describing it in words. When we let go of the literal meaning, however, deeper levels of meaning have a chance to appear.

 

Many of the photographs are light, reflecting the airy, ethereal nature often associated with the divine. Other photographs, however, are darker, because there are other sides to our relationship with the divine, as in John Donne’s famous sonnet “Batter my heart, three person’d God. That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend your force, to break, blow, burn and make me new.” Or in the lyrics of the pop singer P!nk, “Ave Mary A, where did you go? How did you know to get out of a world gone mad?” Darkness is an essential part of the human condition, and of our relationship with the divine. Besides, darkness helps us to better understand the light.

 

All photographs are archival pigment prints, on the highly-textured Hahnemuehle William Turner paper, and are available at 20” x 20”, 40” x 40”, and 58” x 58”.

 

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