It all started when…
Hi. I’m Graece Gabriel. A decade ago I moved to the Oregon coast, with zero intent of becoming a photographer. Eventually though, a series of things happened that encouraged me to get a camera. Here are some of them:
First, I found a six-foot-long dead shark on the beach, replete with strange leathery skin and fearsome teeth. Soon after finding the shark, I saw a strange, yellow eyed bird. It turned out to be an oddly docile, tiny, diurnal owl. I later learned Pygmy Owls are not just fantastical creatures, but are real, live, robin-sized raptors who, every once in awhile, appear here at the shore. Then, not long after that, I found a tiny, baby octopus in a tide pool. This magical, milky-colored marvel furled and unfurled its tiny tentacles in the water before my mesmerized gaze. In that moment I swore I’d never leave home without a camera again. Fortunately, I had not yet succumbed to the lure of the smart phone with a built-in camera or that might have been the end of that.
Recently I awoke in the night from a dream: I was looking at some of my framed photos. There was a descriptive plaque accompanying the images with one word to describe them: Panpsychism. In the darkness, I fumbled for pen and wondered…is there such a word? What does it mean? I jotted it down, and fell back to sleep. In the morning I searched online and found this: Panpsychism is the philosophical view that consciousness is fundamental and ubiquitous in the world. It states that mind, or soul (psyche) is a universal and primordial feature of all things—it is the doctrine or belief that everything material, however small, has an element of individual consciousness. And so in that moment, I learned that I am a bit of a Panpsychist.
Photography is a way to take you with me on my daily walks, a way to portray the line between the seen and the unseen, between the known and the unknowable. I live in a little hamlet along the central Oregon coast, where my neighbors are surfers, poets, painters, musicians. We are all in love with nature. I just happen to believe that nature loves us back.