Meike Christine Gugel in the Ramp Gallery, February 23 – March 19, 2016

Pacific reflections is an intimate statement about the artist’s relationship with water, climate change and neuroscience. Photographer Meike Christine Gugel invites the viewer onto a contemplative journey.

As an admirer of nature, she learned to swim when she was only 3 years old, spending countless hours playing by the water. Nowadays, she still enjoys a good swim in the Pacific Ocean, but also perceives it as a thought provoking element on various levels.

Talking about the ocean and photography Gugel shares, “Spending time by the ocean can be a grounding and meditative experience–the sound of the waves, the wind, the feeling of sand between your fingers and toes. With these photographs I am trying to help the viewers to transport themselves into a different space. As part of my Bachelor thesis in Neuroscience, I performed research on the impact of nature photography on the mind, and tested whether viewing images of nature can improve one’s attention on tasks. My own investigation, as well as the work of others showed that even photography can have a beneficial influence.”

Water–while it covers more than 70% of the planet’s surface, and fascinatingly also inhabits about 70% of our bodies – drastically affects all life on earth. With global warming and the rising of the ocean temperatures, the planet will be facing severe environmental changes. The physical imbalance of this omnipresent element may turn against us. Water is an important topic to reflect upon, as it plays a dramatic role in our changing climate.

Listen to the artist talk about their work in their own words:

About Meike Christine Gugel
Meike was born and raised in a small town outside of Hamburg, Germany. She moved to San Francisco to pursue a life close to some of the most impressive natural wonders the world has to offer. Since her childhood, she has always felt a deep connection to nature, and especially water. Meike is a neuroscientist by day – researching human cognition – and an artist and adventurer in her free time. Her primary focus in photography is nature and she spends most weekends exploring the wilderness. With her vivid images she seeks to stimulate the viewer to go on adventures and to contemplate the importance of protecting these breath taking environments. Her latest passion is night photography, allowing the vastness of space to become a part of stunning nature scenes.

Meike is a member of the Flaming Lotus Girls, a volunteer-based artist group of mostly females, located in the SF Bay Area. With a talent for welding and fabrication, she helps to build large-scale metal sculptures with awe-inspiring fire effects. She is passionate about capturing her group’s pieces in all their fiery glory and has successfully exhibited her photography in several gallery shows.

For about 6 months, Meike has been volunteering as one of SOMArt’s event photographers and captured the staff’s lively group photos and headshots.

About The Ramp Gallery
The Ramp Gallery accepts exhibition proposals on a continual basis. Submission Guidelines can be found here. To purchase work on display or for more information email gallery@somarts.org. You can visit The Ramp gallery any time SOMArts Cultural Center is open.

Image credit: Meike Christine Gugel, Dusk Reflections, photography. 2015