In 2003, I was a painter.
It started innocently enough armed only with a Sony 717 camera and curiosity.
The trip was planned for Paris to see the Louvre and to see several of the “Seven Great Gothic Cathedrals”.
It turned a previous calling in painting a new direction; the study and proclamation of the consecrated and sacred.
France, where the Gothic style began with Abbot Suger and the mystical infusion of symbol where the structure itself became representative of the Holy Jerusalem, and also of the human body (New Testament folk should love the Metaphore here of the temple/ the body/ and an architectural form) all as a theological remembrance for a fallen world. A service from and to the Divine.
An idea of the spirit of this can be read here about the doors excerpted from Abbot Suger’s writings:
“Whoever thou art, if thou seekest to extol the glory of these doors,
Marvel not at the gold and the expense but at the craftsmanship of the work.
Bright is the noble work; but, being nobly bright, the work
Should brighten the minds, so that they may travel, through the true lights,
To the True Light where Christ is the true door.
In what manner it be inherent in this world the golden door defines:
The dull mind rises in truth through that which is material
And, in seeing this light, is resurrected from its former submersion.”
More insight to Abbot Suger’s thoughts.
Oddly, the one church I missed was the Abby Church of St. Denis – ground zero of the Gothic shift.
That month in France I photographed 30 churches in Paris, and about in the cities of Rouen, Chartres, Amien, Beauvais.
After this, I became a photographer by choice and entered the profession. Three years later I would return to France for a short period in the western country side followed by a brief revisiting of Paris for 3 days specifically to digitally capture images with intent to share my findings.
Here are a few images from those trips.