"The Four Elements of the Goddess" by Kyer Wiltshire
"... the female form is both beautiful and sacred in all her elements. The Four Elements are an analogy to the sacred feminine in all of us." -Kyer Wiltshire
"We will be a healthier society if we acknowledge that we are sexual beings."
"The subjects in my photos would say, “This is my essence.”
WS: What inspired you to create the 4 Elements project and what message do you hope for these images to send?
KW: "The Four Elements of the Goddess" project came out of my nude yoga calendar: Sacred Form. My message is that the female form is both beautiful and sacred in all her elements. The four elements are an analogy to the sacred feminine in all of us. Like the weather Shakti is ever changing: one day your heart will melt in her loving arms, the next day her anger leaves you wondering what happened.
WS: What about NOW makes it the time you are called to see this project come to life?
KW: We are living in an “alternative” culture that began in the 1960's. Technological advances aside, the biggest difference between now and then is that we are not in a cultural protest against the status quo. Our Tribe is about individual and communal expression. In a modern and sometimes isolating society we want healing and connection. The Four Elements is a collaborative offering.
WS: Provocative images often have a complicated existence- tell us about what calls you to photograph the naked body and how you navigate the negative stereotypes around the subject of the body in its natural state?
KW: My message in "Sacred Form and The Four Elements" is the same. We will be a healthier society if we acknowledge that we are sexual beings and THAT is okay. There is no shame in our sexual essence. There is no shame in our naked skin. It is also okay to enjoy the beauty of a nude photograph. As a model it is also okay that others enjoy and are inspired by your beauty.
WS: What inspires you as a photographer?
KW: I am inspired by beauty. I am also inspired when I, or the model, take a risk in creating a photo. This could be posing nude near crashing waves, fire dancing or simply letting down your barriers, showing your essence, your emotional vulnerability. Like all artists, I seek connection with others in my work.
WS: When you were younger, what did you want to "be when you grow up"?
KW: I grew up hiking and climbing with my father. I wanted to work outdoors, like a ranger or a climbing guide.
WS: Was there a specific moment in which you realized you would pursue photography as a craft?
KW: I learned Spanish as a young adult and I started traveling in Spanish speaking countries. I enjoyed photographing the people that I met in my travels and I realized that I had some talent for photography.
WS: If your photographs could speak, what would they say?
KW: "The subjects in my photos would say, “This is my essence.”
WS: Can you tell us about a recent milestone in your career as an artist?
KW: My biggest accomplishments have been my book Tribal Revival: West Coast Festival Culture (TribalRevivalBook.com) and actually making a living as an artist (KyerWiltshire.com).
WS: Tell us about a recent opportunity that’s arisen that you wouldn't have expected as an option early on in your career.
KW: This February I have been hired to photograph a Caribbean cruise with 2,000 naked people on it.
WS: When can we hope to see/own the 4 Elements project in its final format?
KW: My first book, Tribal Revival represented 8 years of photography and several focused years of my life. It took three times as much work to do as I had originally envisioned. The Four Elements is about honoring the Goddess and it will be done right. That will take time. I would be happy to see it in print in 2015. We are also exploring digital formats. I continue with the focus and vision.
WS: What does Wild mean to you?
KW: It means “free,” “open,” “raw.”
About the Artist
Wedding and festival photographer Kyer Wiltshire loves photographing people, their connection, their joy and movement, their love and essence. Kyer is a destination wedding photographer who works at west coast and foreign destinations. You can view his wedding photography at ArtisticWeddingPhotos.com.