Poetic and Spiritual: The Photography of Noell S. Oszvald

Poetry, meditation and spirituality are often linked. Since the Romantic movement, poetry has been about using an economy of words–condensing meaning only to the essential–to express our profound feelings. Similarly to meditation, this process requires looking within. The photography of the Hungarian artist Noell S. Oszvald is poetic and spirituala visual meditation through images rather than a verbal one through thoughts and words.
It seems to be inspired by the the Buddhist practice of focused thought to achieve peace of mind and the cultivation of wisdom. There’s also a certain animism in it, as the human figure–usually a willowy and beautiful young woman with long dark hair–appears in total harmony with her environment. She often mirrors the positions of the objects or beings around her.
Like in poetry, form itself takes on the utmost importance. In one image we see the young woman from behind assuming exactly the same position as the cat sitting next to her. In another photo, she bends like the tree close to her, in an environment as minimalist and stark as the setting of Samuel Beckett’s plays. In fact, the human being mimics so well her surroundings that she, too, appears to be a prop in the theater of life.
Beckett once said, “All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead.”
Existential in mood without being somber, Noell S. Oszvald’s photographs do not offer, however, a long sonata of the dead.
They stage the perfect setting for a meditation about life, simplicity of forms, oneness between body and mind, and a sense of harmony with our surroundings that doesn’t place human beings on top, but rather as one with nature.
Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com


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