About A Thin Silence –
A Thin Silence is a body of work that comes out of my experience living at the L’Abri communities in England and Sweden. L’Abri is French for “the shelter” and is a place where people of all ages and nationalities come for rest and study in a shared community life with others. It is a “thin place” to use an old Celtic expression – a place where the veil between heaven and earth is almost transparent, a place where pilgrims go to wrestle with God and ask the tough questions that many are otherwise afraid to ask.
There is a story in the Hebrew Scriptures about expecting God to be revealed in a dramatic gesture like an earthquake or a fire, but instead finding that God reveals himself in “a low whisper, a thin silence.” This is the lesson of L’Abri. Those who come here are hoping for a grand redemption from personal demons, but instead find God in the beauty of the little things, like chores and shared meals. In a world of individualism and isolationism, many are seeking a sense of belonging. Immersing oneself in the rhythm of a life together can provide a needed contrast from the lonely wanderlust of our rootless contemporary society. Those of us who make the pilgrimage to a place like this discover a new sense of home, a place where we can slow down, stop doing and start being.
About Kurt –
Kurt Simonson (b. 1977 in St Paul, Minnesota) is an artist/educator based in Long Beach, CA, whose work explores the tensions surrounding our ideas of home and community, pilgrimage and displacement, belonging and connecting.
Kurt’s work is regularly exhibited throughout the country and internationally, including recent exhibits at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the Foto8 Gallery in London. His work has been featured in Fraction Magazine, he recently received a Curator’s Choice award from CENTER Santa Fe, and he was chosen as a finalist in Photolucida’s Critical Mass 2012.
Kurt teaches at Biola University in La Mirada, CA, where he is the Associate Professor of Photography in the Art Department. He received a B.S. in Studio Art from Biola University in 2000, a Secondary Education Credential from Whittier College in 2003, and an M.F.A. in Photography from California State University, Long Beach, in 2006.
To see more of Kurt’s beautiful work, please log onto his website.