While visiting USA over the last year and a half I’ve observed the general anxiety level increase exponentially. People are looking for support and a meaning to life.

Conversations I’ve had especially with creatives all over the world in this time all complain that they can’t go on as before. Working in advertising, fashion, or dedicating yourself to a corporate brand is just not enough. The old life doesn’t make sense anymore.

I’ve seen wide ranging search for answers: it maybe via religion, pharmaceuticals, conspiracy theories, fundamentalism, nature, family….really anything.

I’m asking the question: what are you turning to. What makes sense to you these days ?

I have collected a set of crystals that all are claimed to have metaphysical properties or functions. I have focused on those which provide protection from external negative forces, and also interpersonal negativity. 

The crystals are vibrant, colourful and rich in detail, but I have chosen to remove all these qualities by photographing them with a Polaroid film stock that has virtually no color saturation and very little detail. 

I am instead trying to emphasise the unseen… the metaphysical…

The images remind me of the old “Aura photography” that rely on using Polaroid film which apparently  produce for the client a visual translation of their aura that they believed was captured by the film.

Dr Post of the Smithsonian describes the Department of Mineral Sciences as specialising in the  “hard, non-living part of the earth…” so it is very curious to me how much mysticism is invested in crystals by so many people. Similar to Astrology as a metaphysical field of study and belief, crystals offer a sense of solace, certainty, and belonging. 

I found most of these specimens at a mineral museum: what excited me for the first time about crystals was that I suddenly realised there was this intense and varied beauty beneath the ground. Hidden.

Another fascinating thing I have learnt is that if you want to go crystal hunting one of the best places to look is beneath fallen trees. The ground beneath the root structure has kept safe and hidden undisturbed ground where you can find your own crystals !

© Adam Custins, 2017