For this artist’s recent project, it’s all about agate. Photographic artist Michael Banks came upon this treasure by happenstance.
“I was telephoned recently by a 95-year-old gentleman, who asked me if I’d like to photograph some of his agate geode collection. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity,” said Banks.
These natural wonders are characterized by the fineness of the grain and variety of color.
“They really are amazing objects, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they are not easy to find because of their very plain exterior appearance. Indeed, from the outside they can look quite dull, just like ordinary rock,” said Banks.
“Secondly, their formation is dependent on a delicate series of geological coincidences. These variables include the amount of moisture trapped within the geode, the various chemicals and rich minerals deposited, and the amount of pressure applied on the geode,” he said. “If the balance of all these factors is just right, crystal formations will begin to grow within the walls of the shell.”
Captivated by these stones, Banks described the experience as “fascinating and humbling to photograph all of this hidden beauty that has been in the dark for literally millions of years, and to bring these gorgeous structures into the light. These gemstones contain mythological, metaphysical and alternative healing properties. They are said to aid meditation, strengthen spirituality, bring good luck and, my favorite, the enhancement of artistic creativity.”
Photography by Michael Banks