'This Too Shall Pass’ is a personal project by photographer Rein Kooyman about his journey of self-discovery, nature and acceptance throughout the French Alps. A series of photographs where Kooyman captures the process of painting giant boulders by using natural pigments.
This journey began in the summer of 2020, during the global pandemic, when Kooyman started to feel the instability of nature as a reflection of his own. As a result: the photographer escaped the fast-paced city life, and with an open mind, set foot into the French Alps.
It wasn’t until he came face to face with a giant boulder that he realized; the power of stillness - through its seemingly stable appearance—when everything else around it was moving. For a moment Kooyman stopped and allowed the silence to speak to him. It was also in this particular instance, that the photographer noticed himself and his "essential nature" and to experience what it means to be in the moment.
With the large rocks in mind, the photographer continued his journey on how he could express this peculiar experience and feeling again. This, together with his deep-rooted fascination for nature, led him to research natural pigments as the foundation, which he knew he could later use to colorize his boulder of choice. After painting his first one, Kooyman decided to create the series 'This Too Shall Pass' as an ode to nature and as a reminder to consciously practice the art of being in the moment.
"The entire process is profoundly peaceful and allows me the time to reflect and balance my unconditional love for nature and the city I live in", says Kooyman. Before colorizing the rocks; Kooyman walked, climbed, hiked and or passed to wherever his instincts guided him towards to. The painting sessions of the giant rocks take between 6 to 10 hours and have been painted during various seasons. Every color became a symbol of a specific period in his life; and as the colors faded with time—so did the moment.
The rocks turn back to their natural states and so do we.
Materials used: natural minerals, clay, herbal powders, fine crushed stones, Arabic gum and water from the Veneon river in the South of France.