Photo artist Michael Banks is channeling nature in his new series, “Ocean Halo,” adding to his Water image collection. The images depict peaceful waves flowing onshore.
“It’s been a very difficult time for people all over the world since COVID-19 came into our lives,” Banks told InspireDesign. “We’ve been shut inside our homes, and I think that in times of emotional stress, people reach out to nature, seeking joy, comfort and relaxation in ‘natural’ things.”
The images celebrate the world’s inherent beauty, aiming to serve up waves of hope for when we can all “go swimming again,” he said.
“I think in this ‘ugly’ moment, people want beauty, and the natural world is an unending reserve of beautiful moments, both mentally and physically,” Banks said. “I’m lucky enough to live by the sea, so my inspiration is totally local for these images. From my apartment, I have a splendid view of the Mediterranean, and I can always see it. Incredibly, it’s different every single day, whether that be the color, amount and size of the waves, its texture, the movement of the currents and even its smell. It’s a kinetic, living, majestic force, and a perpetual source of visual and spiritual pleasure.”
Banks highlighted humans’ distinct relationship with water, noting that our own bodies are 60% water and that we need to drink it every day just to stay alive. The artist hopes to transmit this symbiotic, positive energy to others.
“I think we have a fundamental relationship with water, even unconsciously. We understand it’s crucial to human life and in the context of a beach, it evokes happy sensations of holidays, heat, rest and fun,” he said.
Banks added, “I often walk along the beach or seafront. For me, the incoming waves, visualized in these photos, and the accompanying sound that they make as they break, makes me think that I’m listening to the rhythmic heartbeat of the Earth. If I can transmit some positive memories to the viewer, I’m happy.”