Spring Equinox is around the corner, and I am looking forward to new outdoor art projects and getting my hands in the earth on the reg. With the anticipation of warmer months rattling in my bones, I thought sharing this photo series I did last summer, with two of my favorite local healers, Tara and SaraRose, would help me get through these final dreary days of winter. It was in Tara's garden that I first learned how to harvest and create my own herbal medicine. Tara aka Chickey's Herbals is a local artist, herbalist and yogi and she always has the go to remedies when I'm in a pinch; like when we removed the fifty year old poison ivy jungle from our backyard. We probably went through two entire bottles of topical spray in a month. SaraRose aka Yoga Nature is a massage therapist, tarot reader, herbalist and yogi. She has guided me along my path of herbal medicines, as well as my on going yoga practice. I have been practicing yoga off and on for almost a decade but her spiritual and individualized teachings inspired me to take my practice to the next level. I've made more progress in the last three years than I believed possible. A few massages here and there have certainly helped to keep me moving. Together Tara and SaraRose are a power house of nourishment, energy, empathy and creativity. I feel so lucky to have them in our little community. They are hosting their next Sacred Women Spiral Retreat at the Amethyst Center this May, in Duncannon, PA with a focus on vishuddha (throat) chakra. If you are searching for connection, personal evolution, enlightenment and sisterhood check out what these vivacious women have to offer!
Hello New Year. I can't say that it is a happy one for me. And maybe that is my first lesson of 2018: new beginnings don't have to be happy, they can just be. I've been sick and cooped up for a week. I was well taken care of and attended to by a house full of loving fuzzy pets and a doting husband. Despite reeling in the darkness I am a lucky woman.
I had time to reflect on my intentions for 2018. Sharing this body of work is one of them. I've been struggling with/contemplating the theory of free will. I circulate ideas of intentionality, then flip the switch and succumb to the lack of any outward control I thought I had. I try to allow myself to at least pretend to pursue my personal desires and goals. This series of moving still lives is intended to document deliberate human interaction with a simmultaneous release to randomness and chaos.
Most of my year was spent outside in my yard removing "invasive" trespassers on a unkept property, while cultivating native species and growing a garden for food and healing for me and some local wildlife. I also spent a good amount of time swimming and floating in our pool. I started to become obsessed with keeping critters from drowning; every kind of bug and frog. Unfortunately, I could never save the shrews that drowned in the night. It was always too late.
I began observing the changing flora together on an infinite back drop of blue. I decided to allow these relationships to unfold in space. I hadn't considered that I would also be abducting insects along with their homes. Some came willingly others were shocked at this strange new world and attempted to evacuate immediately. I of course removed them after a few shots. My intention wasn't to harm them. But really, was it even my choice?
For the remainder of this year my goal is to continue to "heal" the land that I care for to the best of my ability. I am going to let go of the perfection I once thought I could create and allow the darkness in with the light. The predators and prey are welcome here.
Inhabitance and exploration of a new landscape inspired these curated organic arrangements. I submerged into my environment encountering ecosystems of native, cultivated and invasive species. Invasiveness is pervasive and I often find myself to be alien. These photographs represent my observations from the space where the unseen fabric of communication unfolds and the macro and micro coexist in an instance.
All of these images are available as 11x17 metal prints. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing one. Thanks for reading and watching - Haley
Recently, I had the pleasure of experimenting in the studio with Indian Burn, AKA Zach Spellman.
"I'm from Harrisburg, PA. I make music by myself and with my friends. Most of the stuff one here is all just me and myself. But then 2014 came and my friends and I started a rock band called THE INDIAN BURN BAND. We play many songs from this library." - Zach Spellman
Spellman's concept for the shoot was "Just a boy in a room..."
Thanks for the awesome tunes Zach, and good luck in Maine. HBG misses you.
While strolling around my neighborhood in Midtown, Harrisburg, I noticed a rich aroma wafting in the summer breeze. I followed the scent down Susquehanna where I saw Peter of Little Amps Coffee Roasters enter an unassuming garage.
One of the best things about living in this micro city is unexpectedly bumping into good friends and catching a glimpse of their day to day routines. Peter and Aaron graciously opened their doors to what I like to call "The Bean Cave".
Check out Little Amps Coffee Roasters for the best brew in town!
On Sunday February 1st, I had the pleasure of accompanying writer Gina Kurtz to Willow Run Alpaca Farm in Carlisle, PA for an article in Harrisburg Magazine. We met Sue Asten who boards her sheep there and trains her four Border Collies. Despite the overcast weather, the sky and the snow were so bright it was difficult for me to focus on anything other than the viewfinder of my camera. I was immersed in a white canvas of movement, color and texture.
Jed is seven years old and Sue's most reliable worker. According to Sue, Jed's use of "the Border Collie Eye" is his most prominent tool when controlling the flock.
The sheep are some of the most beautiful and unique I have ever seen. They are a mixed herd of wooly Border Leicester- and Perendale- Cheviot crosses and the goat-like Katahdins. Sue guesstimates the only male Katahdin to be over twelve years old.
Each time Jed rounds up the sheep they instinctively seek the safety of the humans.
Sue uses high-pitched whistles as well as verbal commands and hand signals. She explains that once the dogs are trained, they should be able to anticipate what comes next. You can begin to see how the process and relationship between Human - Dog - Sheep - Human becomes symbiotic.
Sue demonstrates the process of separating the flock so that individual sheep can be isolated and examined. This sends a few into a literal "flight" mode.
Above: Three-year-old Border Collie Bea, Sue Asten, and Sue's good friend Deb Mickey with her twelve year old Border Collie, Annie.
Annie awaits her turn to show her skills. The desire that is bred into these dogs to "herd" is constant. I have an English Shepherd at home, and she can barely contain herself around smaller creatures. Annie, however, practices much restraint until she is given the go-ahead.
Bea, whom Sue calls "The Jokester," is extremely eager and quick.
The calm, assertive energy that Sue emits is easily seen in each photograph. She is a true pack leader.
After the work is done, all of the Border Collies get together to socialize. Jed enjoys chasing and playing with sticks.
Clay, the youngest of the pack.
I have always had a dog in my life. It wasn't until I rescued two as an adult that I found the balance that goes into a human/dog relationship. Their ever-present psychology is a direct reflection of your own. Their genetic imprint and biological desires will manifest in some way, just like a person. Finding the confidence in yourself to channel the energy that they possess fulfills a primal connection and nurtures true companionship. --HH