Harel Stanton, Pure Faith, from PRIVATE 47 – ISRAEL[W]hen I think of Pure Faith, the words that come to my mind are love, purity… For me, as someone who studies the religious ceremonies through the lens of the camera, every time I am amazed again to see that it is all the SAME people who are behind the uniform, costumes, dress, burka, kippah, etc. It does not matter in what way we dress, do our worship or sacred work, but what shines through the picture is the light and the thirst of all souls to experience their spiritual connection to the light, or God.
I see myself as a cultural and religious explorer, probing deeply into the heart of religious and cultural ceremonies. I do not try to approach my subject intellectually. I instead open myself to the experience and try to let go of what I know about the culture, my prejudice and concepts. My photographs are not about the church, the idols, the physicality, but about the soul deep down, the core of the human being. My photography has evolved as I evolve on a personal spiritual level. My photos reflect the journey I go through in my own spiritual search for the Light, God, the Beyond. The technical aspects of photography are not the ones leading me when I take pictures, on the contrary, I try to let go of the mind, the technique and enter instead a dance with the subjects I photograph, where the camera is just a key, a tool used intuitively. Because it is not the perfect look I am searching for, but that emotional, spiritual experience that I try to convey through my art.