“The Swashbuckling Mermaid” Aura Stiers To Release Breathtaking New Book
It is important, in a world wracked by global disease and sociopolitical unrest, we remember the first principles of redemptive human experience. No matter what religious beliefs you may hold dear, we are only here for a time and better serve our lives seeking out qualities in the world that enrich our experiences rather than miring us in pain and unhappiness. Aura Stiers’ Mermaid – A Dream Made Real is a book combining photography and text and Cyrus Rhodes’ part of the presentation, the photography, works with an excellent subject thanks to her outstanding costuming and natural unaffected beauty. Another key aspect of the work is their choice of location. Much of the pictures are taken at national and state parks near the Seattle, Washington area, but there is a smattering of other pictures taken at landlocked locales.
Stiers divides the book into twenty chapters with two bonus chapters appended to the book. Each of the book’s twenty chapters open with a brief piece of writing, primarily poetry but some of the pieces fall into prose or prose poem categories, and they are invariably tailored to complement the photography included with each chapter. The layout of the book helps readers connect even more strongly with both of its primary components. Rhodes’ deserves considerable praise for his atmospheric work behind the camera. There’s no way of determining whose ideas drive this part of the book but it is safe to assume that they worked together down the line in determining what ideas are best for conveying Stiers’ message.
The vivid composition of each photograph makes it much more than eye candy. Rhodes is far more than just the guy taking the pictures; he has an unerring instinct for catching the most evocative moments in each setting. It is safe to assume, as well, that for each picture included in this book, there are a handful who didn’t make the final cut. Their ability to choose the right photographs for Mermaid is another critical strength and pairing them with the right pieces of creative writing further accents the book’s merits.
There are several highlights in both areas of the book’s presentation. It opens with tremendous impact thanks to the marriage of text and imagery in “Mermaid in the Falls”. The multiple mermaid tails she utilizes over the course of the book match up well with the volume’s individual sections. Each section of text likewise has a small drawing, condensed but detailed, following the title. The balance between writing and graphic/visual art is ideal – it is largely devoted to the latter, but the book would be incomplete or uneven in its effects if the textual contributions were more insignificant.
Other important combinations of text and visuals come with “Misty Falls and Rocky Paths”, “Under the Deep”, “The Majestic Lionfish”, and “Enchantress of the Sea”, among others. The second of those chapters, “Under the Deep”, is noteworthy. The underwater photography included in this particular passage has potent atmospherics without ever seeming self-indulgent. The bonus material included with the book is a valedictory parting shot of sorts and doesn’t add or detract from the work in any significant degree. Mermaid – A Dream Made Real is a fantastic work.