Joanna Eden … Beauty in the Land of Plenty
“Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy, but they become legends.”
-Legends of the Fall
“Keep your heart open even when it hurts”
– William Whitecloud
“Cloudy with a chance of love.”
– Joanna Eden
“Every single soul is a poem, written on the back of God’s hand”
– Michael Franti
“The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it.”
– Joseph Campbell
Welcome to Joanna Eden’s Land of Plenty
“Many indigenous cultures had a concept that everything you want already exists somewhere. The Native Americans called it The Land of Plenty – a place where all your hearts desires could be found.”
I’m not quite sure where to begin with this shoot. I don’t even think I understood what this shoot meant to me until I starting laying out these pictures on my blog. I got a bit teary actually. And this has never happened before.
It’s partly to do with the creative process we went through. But mainly because Joanna was so open with sharing what her heart desired. And then last night when I caught up with her, she shared with me what she got from the shoot (it was beyond what I had imagined or expected). And when I think about it, it makes me teary.
What is “The Land of Plenty”?
As mentioned above, “The Land of Plenty” is a place where all your hearts desires can be found. I know that sounds strange but hopefully as I explain the creative process, it will make more sense.
About the Creative Process
Joanna and I (with the help of Warren) went through a meditation process that involved us using our imagination and intuition to visit our Land of Plenty. Basically the meditation process is really designed for you to discover what your heart truly desires – and from this space of ‘plenty’ and abundance you make new choices based on what your heart wants (not what you think you want).
Bringing the future into the present
The Land of Plenty is a very personal space. And for most people, what they find in their land of plenty represents what they want in the future. It’s what they yearn for but it’s not part of their current reality. However Joanna had an idea … what if we did a photo shoot based on her Land of Plenty and brought her hearts desires (that are in the “future”) into the current moment – as if it was real today. To cement a photographic image of the “future” now. That was the idea (how could I possibly say no to such a project?!).
What happened when Joanna visited her Land of Plenty
Very distinct themes came out for her and she made a selection of new choices. I’ve decided not to list the choices here because I don’t think it will make sense to most people. I will ask Joanna to either write or film a short clip explaining what she found there.
But I will share my interpretation of what I saw when Joanna was in her Land of Plenty:
In Joanna’s Land of Plenty she radiates as a beautiful sensual wise feminine woman. Her energy is grounded with American-Indian roots. She lives in a ranch and is immersed in nature. She’s most comfortable at home in soft woolen fabrics. She shares spontaneous animated moments with her son Atlas. She embraces her dark powerful nature like an elegant wild horse. She reflects on her past and how it has shaped her. She loves screening and writing Redemption (her story). Her home is filled with music and her heart is filled with special moments shared with friends who are part of her sacred inner circle. She has a deep love for her husband and enjoys admiring him from afar. It is through her strong nurturing relationships that she can immerse and indulge in the dance of life. Everything in her world is sacred.
What made me cry
When I caught up with Joanna last night I had no idea how this shoot had changed her life. In her head, she originally thought it would be nice to shoot at a ranch to bring the ranch into her life. What you don’t know is that all the images above were actually shot at the home she currently lives in. No she doesn’t own it, but she has dreamt and imagined it into reality. She lives on the estate with her family.The field you see at the end is literally her back yard.
Joanna discovered she already lives in her Land of Plenty. It may not look identical to her visions but it’s actually already there. It was a massive realisation for her (and one neither of us was expecting!).
And the part that made me teary … She said after the shoot she feels she doesn’t want to be anywhere but at home with her family in her Land of Plenty. That she’s no longer looking outside for the next external thing that will make her happy. She just wants to BE at home with her family in her Land of Plenty. And for me as an artist, to be able to give someone that level of certainty about who they are and what they have created in their life (through a photo shoot) – is truly beyond my imagination.
I think my job here is done. Thank you Joanna for bringing me on this journey with you!
I’ll be uploading some more images that didn’t quite make this blog on facebook. Please comment on the blog and let Joanna know if the images of her Land of Plenty connected with you.
Photographer: David Lau
Art Director: Thasoki
Quotes provided by Joanna Eden
Big thanks to those who participated in this project to help capture Joanna’s Land of Plenty: Darren, Atlas, Ryan, Warren and Jack (the puppy).