Sunday, April 22

Shadow Play

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The Ephrata Cloisters at sunrise are clean. Crisp. Mysterious. Here's a place where a sect committed suicide slowly. They allowed old age to kill them. No... they purposely aimed aging at their heads and let it run them down. The Seventh Day Baptist Community were called The Shakers. Their home community was founded in the early 1700s by Conrad Beissel in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. They took Biblical sexual fears to their logical conclusions, banning all of it. Without sex, there were no kids. Without kids... eventually, no shakers. Think of the Jim Jones deal but with very slow acting Kool-Aid. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's meticulously preserved a dozen or so of their buildings. You probably know of them for their determinedly utilitarian furniture which is still coveted around the world. You probably didn't know that they built short doors into every building so should they walk about without humbly bowing, well... they'd bop-their-heads for God.

Remember, they were great carpenters - so the buildings while shorn of all ornamentation - are majestic structures, lovely in their hard wrapped simplicity and high craft.

1 comment:

mcmurma said...

I like the tonal play of textures in this piece most of all. The window and the shadowplay are a nice counterpoint.

So many of your images are such crystalline little vignettes that to do more than simply view them with pleasure would be wrong. On occasion I think that that I might like to make a suggestion about this or that, but then, if I look it long enough, I find that, no, I really can't.