What began as a photographic journey by Francesco Mastalia to explore the physical practice of yoga, unexpectedly transformed into an enlightening odyssey that revealed answers to the mystifying questions: “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is our ultimate purpose on this planet?”
“YOGA The Secret of Life,” on display at the BAU Gallery, explores the personal experiences of 108 of today’s leading practitioners and how this ancient practice has transformed their mind, body, and spirit. It delves deep into the purpose of our existence and how to live a happy, fulfilled life, and understand who we truly are.
The photographs were taken on glass plates using the wet-collodion process, a photographic technique dating back to the 1850’s. As a manual art this labor-intensive craft requires each step be performed by hand. During its fragile journey, it is essential that the glass plate be sensitized, exposed, developed and fixed while remaining wet. Emerging as a positive image on glass, an “ambrotype” is miraculously brought to light by a divine force. Using time to record the energy of light, the collodion image transports us to another place and time. When the light-sensitive chemicals absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays we enter a mysterious world where art and alchemy embrace and the image reveals itself.
This union unveils the synergy between the yogi, photographer, and flow of the universe. As the exchange of energy is absorbed, it creates a fleeting moment in time, never to exist again. “Ambrotype,” from ancient Greek, means “immortal,” capturing an impression for eternity, its essence revealing the spirit of the soul.
Francesco Mastalia-YOGA: The Secret of Life is on display through May 6. The Second Saturday opening reception, with a meet the artist and book signing, is from 6 to 9 p.m. Additional program for the month includes:
April 15, 2 p.m. – Sunday Gallery Talk Francesco Mastalia-YOGA: The Secret of Life is a photo-documentary project about the spiritual and physical journey of yoga.
April 22, 2 and 3:30 p.m. – Sunday free Yoga for all levels with Liz Glover Wilson and Nikki Haas, Stone Wave Yoga. Bring a yoga mat and comfortable clothes.
April 29, 2 p.m. Sunday participate in Meditation and Gong Bath. Bring a yoga mat. As a group, we will come together in a unified heart meditation. Surrender to the vibration of the gongs, where your mind turns off completely and, at a cellular level, we all connect. Meditation and Gong Bath will be conducted by Justin Ram Das Logan LMT. IKYI – Justin Ram Das works in alliance with yoga studios and healing centers throughout the north east including the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck.
May 6, 2 p.m Panel Discussion with Master Yogis. Meet and listen to a number of yogi masters from many different practices and philosophies who are the beautifully captured subjects of Francesco Mastalia’s book, Yoga: The Secret Life.
The BAU Gallery is located at 506 Main Street in Beacon. Hours are Saturday and Sunday, 12-6 p.m. Visit baugallery.com for more information.