White horses: Covid dreams and the rhythm of lockdown by Mieke Douglas

The emotions of lockdown come and go, ebb and flow: disquieting and sometimes extreme; often softly cocooned in a safe quarantine bubble. I am having unusually vivid dreams. I read in the news that I am not the only one.

‘When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.’

-Rainer Maria Rilke

The emotions of lockdown come and go, ebb and flow: disquieting and sometimes extreme; often softly cocooned in a safe quarantine bubble. I am having unusually vivid dreams. I read in the news that I am not the only one. It can be hard to separate the dreams from reality. 

The world was in lockdown, but Spring and Summer still came as they always has. I have never enjoyed watching the Seasons unfold so much. We are all focussing more on the natural world. The air is cleaner; the streets are quieter and wildlife and flowers are returning.

I find some comfort in slowing down and just surrendering to the unstoppable progression of Nature. There is a stillness to be found in yielding to her rhythms and just accepting their power. I flow with her and she emboldens me. These images are an exploration of the simple lines and repeating patterns of Nature in her various forms. I would like the viewer to slow down and experience the wonder of the undulating and unstoppable rhythm of nature, like waves hitting the shoreline.

Breaking waves are sometimes referred to as white horses, as the crest of the wave can be seen as the mane of the horse. If you listen closely, the faint booming of the waves crashing sounds like hundreds of hooves thundering along the ground. Here are a few of my White Horses. The repeating forms, shapes and lines of the rhythmic and unstoppable progression of Nature. Give in to their power. I hope you enjoy the ride.

About Mieke Douglas

Mieke is a Canadian and Dutch Fine Art Photographer, living in London. Her work challenges our ambivalence to the natural world around us. She strips down the unnecessary and focuses on simple lines and moments of movement or stillness in nature. Scale, distance and form are often ambiguous. She hopes to make you linger a bit longer and look at the contours, shapes and textures of nature. Her practice is inspired by the Abstract Impressionists’ abandonment of traditional ideas of composition and by the17th century Dutch Master Painters’ use of light, composition and colour to direct the eye of the viewer. She experiments with modern techniques to achieve these effects in a digital image. Her work moves between fact and fiction and constantly challenges the boundaries of photography and art.

Mieke’s images are held in private collections and have been exhibited internationally in Paris, Rome, Rotterdam, Barcelona and London, including two submissions in the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2019. She has won numerous awards, most recently: a Julia Margaret Cameron Award 2020; Minimalist Photographer of the Year Open Category Award 2019, a Chromatic International Photography Award  and a British Photography Award 2019. Mieke is Shortlisted for the inaugural Alpha Female Award at the Sony World Photography Awards 2020 and The Association of Photographers Emerging Talent Award 2020. She has just had her first solo show, ‘STILL’ in Marylebone, London.She is a member of the Royal Photographic Society, London Independent Photography, The Association of Photographers, Photofusion, Shutterhub and of the Clapham Photographers’ Collective and has recently been accepted as an ArtCan Artist.

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