What if Thoreau had been a photographer?
Koichiro Kurita launched the Beyond Spheres project in 2010 and it is a logical extension of his continuing search for an answer to the question. The aim of this project was, and is, to give pictorial form to Thoreau's ideas and writings by employing the methods used by his contemporaries, photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot. In homage to Thoreau and Talbot, Kurita has creates handmade photography with the same depth of thought and reflection on man's coexistence with nature in this project. This approach provides a unique opportunity to experience Thoreau's philosophy of man's relationship to nature in visual form and to demonstrate the value of photography made by hand in these times of accelerating change.
"I have two mentors. One is Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), who urged a re-experience of the relationship between nature and humans. The other is William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), who taught what photography is. Beyond Spheres is about my visual journey which in its conclusion, will be an address of gratitude to my two mentors whom I have never met."
Photographing the World of Walden
During the 2nd phase of Beyond Spheres (2014-2015), I relocated from Eastern Long Island, NY to the area around Concord MA so that I could photograph the world of Walden. It was here that Thoreau built his cabin and lived for two years, two months and two days; an experience that led him to write Walden, the masterpiece that has inspired readers for so many year. Thoreau's insights, based on close observation of nature, continue to provide a valuable guide for us in today's fast-paced world.
The Concord-Merrimack Watershed
From October 2015 through 2016 the Beyond Spheres project explored remote and hidden sites along the Ipswich, Concord, Assabet, Sudbury and Merrimack Rivers, retracing portions of the 1839 journey chronicled in Thoreau's book A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.
As many of the shooting locations were accessible only by canoe, this new series of photographs of terrain “less traveled" is sure to yield images of exceptional beauty. In cooperation with Massachusetts Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, we were able to do exploring, photographing and developing negatives on location.