Radiance was conceived in collaboration with literary artist Jere Pfister, with whom Ms. Ramain has in common similar spiritual experiences. In an attempt to portray her own spiritual participation with the Divine realm, Ramain chose to use a plastic, bellowed lens to create these distorted images which imply warped time.
Ms. Pfister's essay about this project:
The Radiance of Paisley Sky
I grew up on a river called the Bogue Falaya, named by the Choctaw Indians that lived on the land of my people long before there were deeds. My mother was a witch who dug up roots and boiled them with sugar to satisfy our need for sweet in the midst of a bitter time. The men hunted for only enough for they knew the ways of the old people. On our river cypress tree branches reached down to the water where light filtered through their feathery branches and turned the amber water green as water moccasins slithered into the shade and forgot to bother me and my brother as we played.
My mother taught me the difference between poisonous snakes and the harmless ones Brother and I collected from our yard and brought into the house at night letting them crawl up our legs and arms to the marble table next to where mother sat nursing our baby brother as we listened to Brahms on our small record player.
On cold winter nights we built fires in the chimney to keep our bodies warm adding salts that caused the fire to crackle and turn into strange colors of the Aurora Bora reaching down our chimney bringing cries of wonder to our eyes and hearts.
My life has followed a single path as I became a wife then a mother. City dwellers we sought nature near our many homes. We visited lakes and oceans, our children climbing trees and cliffs as they grew into adults who now live among mountains and deserts, oceans and lakes. While others prefer to look up, my children reach for the crests and look down at the earth below and sky above. These four children and their eight children are the future. And while my heart fills with joy for their lives, it is with deep sadness I recognize they may be forced to serve at the last meal.
My path ends in the present as I remember all the ones who went before and who protect me even now as I sit and gaze at the cypress trees and their knees that grow out of the water like ancient icons of Madonna’s and Wise Men standing guard over waterways and swamps of native lands.
For this is the gift of the present, there is no longer my land. There is no they. There is no there or this. There is only we. Now, I close my eyes before sleep and I see the rich tones of the sacred blue created eons ago by worshiping people in the land we now call Iran. My great grandmothers wove the ancient paisley patterns in the mills of Scotland.
The royal blue paisley leads us to the land of forever, wherever that may be. When I sit beside the cypress knees and look toward the sky, the sacred paisley cloth looks down upon me and I know that I must write these words of praise and remembrance to a world that was enough for eons.
Some believe there is a window of time left for the earth and the sky that protects us. I have witnessed another window into the sacred mother of all. On the Rio Grande Bosque, a wood filled with Cottonwood trees, a path opened to me and I saw Woman. She lives. Her arms are open and wide, her strength is enormous, and like earthly mothers of time, her tears fall like rain for all that is lost. But still, she is radiant in her garments of deep blue paisley sky.