Thin Places are what the ancient Celts named rare locales where the separation between our earthly world and another, spiritual world becomes hazy and indistinct.
Their concept of cail ait (‘kweel awtch’) literally refers to mountain tops where the air is thin, but it more importantly reflects a spiritual thinness as well. They’re places where one feels touched by the otherworldly, a feeling not necessarily transmitted by our known senses.
This series grew out of conversations with my father, a religious man despite his breaking a 16-generation chain of rabbis to become a psychiatrist. Before he passed in 2023, I’d confided in him that for me, deep feelings of spirituality never occurred in the practice of religious observance but rather in the embrace of the natural world – in these Thin Places, where time seems to slow, something resonates in me, and I experience an unexpected sense of connection to a world beyond my consciousness.
It is said that Thin Places are elusive – they may only reveal themselves when the light dances with them to a very specific rhythm. Often in Thin Places, time stops progressing in meter, and slows or speeds as it wishes. These locations can speak to us through vibration more than sight or sound; blood stirs in our bodies in spaces unrelated to tissue or bones. Where the veil between this world and the other becomes porous, these are Thin Places.
About Lev L. Spiro
Lev L. Spiro is a fine art photographer and filmmaker whose photography tries to convey the sense of mystery and wonder he finds in the natural world, and at times the inherent contradictions of the man-made world.
Images from his series “Fugitive Light”, “Night Creatures”, “Naked Beverly Hills” and “Thin Places” have been chosen for more than 45 exhibitions from September 2020 through present, as well as for publications including Art Ascent Magazine’s “Gold Artist” feature in June 2021, Shadow & Light Magazine’s Featured Portfolio in January 2023, Art Ascent’s “Silver Artist” in July 2023, and featured portfolios and images in Black + White, Artistonish, All About Photo, and Dodho Magazines. Solo exhibitions include Midwest Center for Photography in December 2021 and June 2023. His series “Night Creatures” debuted at La Botega Art Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA in 2022.
In ‘Fugitive Light,’ Lev explored the figurative and literal concepts of darkness in light, trying to understand why the surface beauty of the natural world often gave way to darker emotions in his images. In the series ‘Night Creatures,’ Lev conjured a mythological world in which plants move about, converse, fight, and make love in a highly anthropomorphized set of portraits which refer to Greek and Roman archetypes. In the documentary series ‘Naked Beverly Hills,’ he examined his immediate surroundings from an ethnographic perspective, seeing the town as a self-perpetuating fable. And in his new series ‘Thin Places,’ he explores the overlapping intersections between the natural world and the realm of spirituality.
Lev currently teaches the fine art photography course ‘The Artful Garden’ for Santa Fe Workshops. He is also well known for his Directing work, having helmed more than 160 television episodes, pilots, and features including multiple Emmy-award-winning series such as Orange is the New Black, Modern Family, Weeds, Ugly Betty, The O.C., Psych, and Arrested Development. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, writer/producer Melissa Rosenberg, and their two dogs Luna and T. Beau, who often accompany him and make helpful suggestions as he creates images. [Official Website]