Silence and Creativity


Recently I received a gift from a lovely client, thank you lovely client. It is a book entitled, Silence In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge from Wellington’s Unity Books.

A description of Kagge’s book from the publishers, Penguin Random House:

“In this astonishing and transformative meditation, Erling Kagge, famed Norwegian explorer and the first person to reach the South Pole alone, explores the silence around us, the silence within us, and the silence we must create. By recounting his own experiences and discussing the observations of poets, artists, and explorers, Kagge shows us why silence is essential to our sanity and happiness—and how it can open doors to wonder and gratitude.”

I very much enjoyed reading this softly-pale-blue-covered book. I related to its essence — inner stillness. For my own wellbeing, growth and creativity I consciously seek inner silence often throughout a day — while walking/running on the beach (with precious Adie) both first thing in the morning and at the end of my workday; whilst photographing alone in nature; during my beloved yoga and meditation practices; and working in silence (as much as possible), in my sweet creative cabin amongst our growing vegetables. And I carry this stillness with me as I go about the more active tasks in my day.

I tend, often, to create images that express how this inner stillness feels to me, this is what I am most compelled to create images of:


As the images above suggest, when I am in search of inner stillness — experiencing it and expressing how that feels creatively — the horizon is something that I am very much drawn to — as are the gentle tones of the colour blue.

I decided to embark on a photographic study that further explored my pull towards the horizon as well as my reactions to colours outside of the world of Blue — looking into the depths of black or the vibrancy of orange — asking myself, ‘What do I experience here, within myself?’

This study relates so very well to Kagge’s words around the quality of outer and inner silence experienced in nature:

For me silence in nature is of the highest value. That’s where I feel most at home.
— Erling Kagge

My creative process is very simple, very quiet, very un-rushed — me, Adie, on the beach, with my camera absorbing the vast horizon in front of me. I am very drawn to this seemingly precise space where water and air appear to meet. During the summer months, I try to swim as far out as I can towards this never-ending space to feel even more immersed in its magic.

Below is a small selection of images from my Horizon Study 2018 – 2019:


I have been resisting photographing orange. It is interesting to note what colours we are drawn to and pushed away from in different contexts and to question why. This orange, however, contained by the rich, deep blues is, to me, alive and still and beautiful:


I am interested in how the varying colours, tones, textures, lights and darks speak to me and to others. I am currently working on bringing these visual meditations even more to life — printing a full set.

Once printed, I am looking forward to working with these images within the context of the Art of Meditation work that Mark, Emily and I continue to nurture and grow with our Alamandria endeavours. Our next Art of Meditation Retreat is being held at the beautiful Aio Wira Retreat Centre — Waitakere Ranges, Akld, 22 - 24 November 2019.

And I am now very much enjoying another book, on the same theme of silence, called Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle.

Silence is essential. We need silence, just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Dr Jane Goodall, I thank you.


Dearest Jane Goodall,

I would like to thank you for all that you do.

Thank you for reminding everyone of their own importance, their own great inner force that can be focused on much collective good. Each and every one of us can achieve so much when we fully focus our mind on what it is we wish to achieve.


Thank you for seeing and remembering me, for making me feel welcome — as you do for all who cross your path, and that is millions of people all around planet earth, thanks to your great effort of travelling this globe, non stop.


Thank you for looking down the barrel of my camera more times than I imagine you care to remember — I know it is not easy.

I do hope that you know, deeply, (I know you do), that every moment you offer to others, every photo you have taken with others has an enormous impact in this struggling world. I would not want to take these photographs with you if that were not the case.

These photographed moments are far removed from the realm of celebrity — you have a presence that is so strongly felt. You are one impactful and compassionate global leader. You radiate a deep universal love, wisdom and consciousness — a blessing to all you share time and space with, and that is millions of people all around planet earth.

These many photographs we took will be cherished by their owners and they will motivate them all to keep going, to keep doing the good work, to do it better, to do more — our collective good work that you are tirelessly taking around the world.

My photographs of our shared time together, thank you, will be going on my cabin studio wall. They will remind me to not loose hope. To keep trying. To keep going. I shall keep doing the good work, helping every animal in need that I can, making ethical consumer choices and using my visual communication skills for the good and important work.

Melanie Vivian (right) CEO of the Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand, with her mother and family dog greeting Jane.

Melanie Vivian (right) CEO of the Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand, with her mother and family dog greeting Jane.

Many of the team members of the Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand.

Many of the team members of the Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand.

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A very big and heartfelt thank you for all that you do. And thank you Melanie Vivian and all who form the Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand for all that you do to bring this very good work to fruition in Aotearoa. What an incredible team!

For more images of this wonderful experience pop on over here to my photography gallery.