j. Madison Rink, Art & Geology

j. Madison Rink
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Latitude: 36.4071245 Longitude: -105.5730106 Elevation: 6970 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
j. Madison Rink


 “Mystical,  magical, oddly transformational are words that come to mind when I think back to my first visit to Taos, New Mexico.   The experience  haunted me for many years , as is true for  many who are drawn to this area.  Often, I  liken the experience to being tossed into a rock tumbler.  When the rock tumbling process is complete the rough exterior of the rock has been ground away by the long, tumultuous tumbling.  What evolves and revealed is the naturally exquisite inner beauty of gems."     jmr

Artist Statment - YALE, Beinecke Library  -  Link provided below.

Award winning and fine art photographer, writer and artist, j. Madison Rink eventually returned to the enchanted village of Taos, New Mexico where she continues her search in another unique geological terrain to hunt  these naturally sculpted works.  The original and driving influence for this body of work has been the  extraordinary and mysteriously intriguing,  high end antique tribal and Asian art created by the aboriginal peoples from around the world.   

"This body of  work was originally inspired by the native spirits of the earth who continue to guide me.  I feel a stirring, deep connection to each of the embodied spirits in these photographs and continue to be astounded by our human ability (from one moment  to the next if we wish) to see other dimensions;  feel liberated by the fluid magic of perception, hence the ability to see anything we choose to see, and differently... ...to know the sacred, spirit nature of the earth."   jmr

Full Explanation

2015-16  Photographic & biographical materials included in the archives at Yale University,  Beinecke Library,  Women in Photography International Archives: a historical documentation   also included in the archives at the Smithsonian, New York,,  Women's Museum, Wash D.C., the GETTY Museum, Los Angeles The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Radcliffe for Advanced Study, Harvard University,,  International Center of Photography, (ICP)  New York City,   University of Arizona Center of Creative Photography, Tucson.  

Artist Statement:   YALE University,  Beinecke Library, Women in Photography International Archives:  http://womeninphotography.org/Events-Exhibits/YALE-WIPI-ARCHIVE/jMadisonRINK/submission.html

YALE|Beinecke Library,  Women in Photography International  Archives


Women in Photography International (1985 - 2018)


In 2009, UNESCO, the educational subsidiary of UNITED NATIONS published a book entitled “Geotourism & Local Development” (Portugal) and included a segment devoted to an array of contemporary, international artists promoting "Nature awareness through interpretation."  Several of these fine art signature images were included in this book, along with an interview exploring her “circular in nature” healing experiences with the earth and her keen interest in the rich cultural, religious and symbolic history of her chosen canvas; rock-stone.   

j. Madison Rink's photographic works were also included in a 2010 publication by Geoartist and paleontologist, Andrea Baucon.  This pioneering book entitled “Geology and Art; an unorthodox perspective,”  traces the history of Art and Geology beginning with the works of Leonardo da Vinci, up to and including  contemporary international artists of the day.  http://www.geologyinart.blogspot.com/  

2006 Mary H. Dana Women Artists series and collection, Rutgers University.

Exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and other photographic works included in a  traveling group exhibit in Europe entitled "Climate Change."   All images photographed in several locations of the United States, including the Four Corners Region, many signature pieces from  the twenty million years old Santa Monica Mountain range,  as well Vasquez Rocks, in So. California.    

2017 Included in new, upcoming Publication, by R.V. (Dick) Dietrich, "Do You See What I See" 

j. Madison Rink - a photograph blog:    http://outsidernatureartphotography.blogspot.com/


I have had the pleasure of knowing Madison by email for several years. She has sent me some of her works in the past and I have to say they are magnificent. She has such an eye for the unusual and I'm happy to see her work is being shown.

Toni Sewall-Mueller, 1/6/2011

Moving and transformational. You get involved with the photograph where you want to or not. Relationship, that is the word I was looking for.

Marie Griffith, 1/19/2011

Spirtual, haunting; a true connection with nature. There is something about New Mexico, isn't there? I feel it everytime I pass through. A magnetic draw. An "Ooh, aah" feeling washes over me. The desert breeze whispers, "Stay."

Linda Bullock, 2/1/2011



I have viewed online Madison's work in past and I must say without a doubt that she has a true eye for finding natural subjects that just beg to be photographed. It is almost as if her eye knows that the cameras lens will capture and convey an essence that escapes the naked eye. Have never been to Taos but have always heard that the Spirit World is ever present... JMR's photographs capture this dance between life and death

Stephen Todd, 1/25/2012

Critique on J. Madison Rink's Geological Photographs Many years ago when I first started taking photographs I read that the camera lens views it's subject objectively. It is up to the photographer to imbue the object with their particular eye. When I think about J. Madison Rink photographing images in rocks, I think of a sculptor looking at a large piece of marble, and seeing the image that the marble holds. Depending on the particular sculptors vision, the image would be different coming out of the marble. So it is with Madison's art. Another photographer seeing the same rock formations might not ever have seen the images she has brought us. Madison's unique and almost laser like creative eye has uncovered these ancient images in the rock formations. The images are not so cloud like that they change if the eye moves from the image...no, the images are constant and one gets the feeling that they have been there since the beginning of the formation of our earth.. having lived through millions of years of geological corrections, erosion of winds and rain. We now have photographic documentation of their existence.

Robin Blaiwes, 1/30/2012

Madison is releasing the Spirit in the rocks, WOW!

Anne, 2/12/2012

As a long time collector of antique Asian and tribal art I am fascinated by the power of this work and photography. An eerily compelling and beautiful collection. I wonder how long it has taken the photographer to find and collect these natural images. Bravo! and thank you

melville , 3/11/2012

I have been fortunate to have viewed Madison's work at Wilder in Taos! It is like being out in the wild -I feel the spiritual energy through her works and get lost in their beauty.

Kiki, 3/28/2012

I have about eight of Madison's Art hanging in my hallway everyday I enjoy them so much...She really can capture nature like I have never seen before....Great work Madison Keep it up......

marlene Spurgeon, 4/4/2012

j. Madison Rink has an extremely fertile mind so far as finding geological features that resemble other things, particularly those that relate to human feelings. With her permission, two of her fine examples "Between Worlds" and " ... existential sleep" have spots on my "Mimetoliths" web site. Our world would be well served if Madison would extend her fine imagination and her photographic recording of these kinds of phenomena to include examples that occur in more and more parts of our country, in fact in our world. Imagination of the kind she has and the way she expresses it is a gift that this world needs to nurture and cherish.

R.V. "Dick" Dietrich, 4/9/2012

I love Madison's astounding and affirming photos: the human is organic to the sacred and the natural; we are not alone; we know our world as Spirit in Matter; our Ancestors are with us and look back out at us from the real and their deep presence reflects back to us from the hard rock of reality to bring us healing and hope. These photos wake you up! Thanks Madison, for your careful observation and insight.

Sallie Ann Glassman, New Orleans, 4/10/2012

How fortunate I am to have Madison as my dear friend. Her joy and sensitivity are apparent in her art and our friendship. Always believe in yourself and continue to find the rocks that speak to us in so many beautiful ways!

Donna, 4/12/2012

I have looked into your work and found it very good, a very sensitive and unique approach to nature. Surprisingly, what you describe in your pictures is a fairly common yet unnoticed phenomenon throughout human history; it was the way in which the signals of nature were read in the past, and also a reason for the sacralization of certain landscapes, by means of the presence of a Mimetolith (a natural topographic feature or rock which natural shape resembles something else – human, animal, plant, manufactured item, or part(s) thereof. (Dietrich 1989)). The experience that you describe is very interesting for me, as it is consistent with the results of our research in archaeological sites around the globe. We have created a method, the PAH Triad, which can add a stronger ground for your work: PAH Triad (psychological phenomenona): Pareidolia-Apophenia-Hierophany working simultaneously, is changeable among diverse individuals. The PAH triad is part of the unconscious mechanisms inherent to every human being, present in the primary stages of the early development of the human conscience. Pareidolia (psychological phenomenon): involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Psychological phenomenon related to the Rorschach test. Apophenia (psychological phenomenon): that describe the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined by Klaus Conrad (1958). Hierophany (psychological phenomenon): the perception of a manifestation of the sacred. That in the context of the Entorno’s (surrounding) archaeology Moyano and Bustamante (2010) provides entrees to link cultural, geographical, climatic, biotical, astronomical, atmospheric and psychological information from ethno-archaeological data in small, medium and large scale (Moyano Ricardo, Bustamante Patricio, 2010 a, Socaire’S Entorno (Surrounding), Northern Chile: A Four-Dimensional Interpretation of Andean World View, The 38th Annual Midwest conference on andean and amazonian archaeology and ethnohistory. http://www.ipfw.edu/anthropology/MWCAAAE/Program.html). It strengthens the concepts of Landscape archaeology Bradley (2000) and the Xi'An Declaration. http://www.international.icomos.org/xian2005/xian-declaration.htm I think what you described as your experience is right at the core of the origin of animism, religion and art. When you say Each area of the country reflects it's own unique reflection of this culture of what I experience as embodied spirits, that is a good example of a Hieropahny. Please find attached the poster presented in OXFORD IX Archaeoastronomy Congress 2011, Lima, Perú. This is a synthesis of our conclusions about that kind of phenomena in archaeological contexts. I am also sending you the following publications of our work, in the hopes it will prove useful in your work. Some are in Spanish, but if you look at the figures you can understand. Now regarding sources of support for your work, I think in the Rolex award, the Guggenheim foundation or Ford Foundation can be a source of economical resources, but I have not contact whit them. Some publications about that Bustamante Patricio, Yao Fay, Bustamante Daniela, 2011, Search for meanings: from pleistocene art to the worship of the mountains in early China. Methodological tools for Mimesis. http://www.rupestreweb.info/mimesis.html Bustamante Patricio, Yao Fay, Bustamante Daniela, 2010b, The Worship to the Mountains: A Study of the Creation Myths of the Chinese Culture, Patricio Bustamante D. W.. 2010 http://www.rupestreweb.info/china.html Bustamante Patricio, 2008c, Posible Ubicuidad Espacio–temporal de la triada Pareidolia – Apofenia – Hierofania, como probable origen de la sacralización de algunos elementos del paisaje. http://www.rupestreweb.info/triada.html Bustamante Patricio, 2008a ¿Qué Parece? Como Pregunta Orientadora en el Estudio de la Topografía Sagrada en la cultura Azteca http://www.rupestreweb.info/queparece.html Bustamante Patricio, 2006a, Hierofanía y Pareidolia Como Propuestas de Explicación Parcial, a la Sacralización de Ciertos Sitios, por Algunas Culturas Precolombinas de Chile (Bustamante 2006 a) http://rupestreweb.info/hierofania.html

Patricio Bustamante D. f, 4/17/2012

These exquisite pictures are the ultimate in "objets trouves" - but they gain immeasurably from not being taken from their context and reinvented as "art" but left in the setting where they were found, thus remaining part of nature which created them. It is this undisturbed feature that makes them so moving: it is nature speaking to us through the artist's discovery, not the artist improving on nature. I don't think this aspect has been well discussed in the past but Madison's forcefully beautiful pictures force us to consider it. The features only have meaning for us because of what we see in them of course, but they are unquestionably "there" - we did not invent them but, through her artistry, discovered them. Perhaps this is the secret of a lot of "tribal" art. It is cooperating with nature rather than imposing itself upon it. I don't know; aesthetics is not my strong point. But I do know that in these "primitive" images I see something profoundly moving and appreciate (and envy) the skill of the artist who "finds" these concrete meanings and reveals them to us. I look forward to seeing much more.

Robin Fox, University Professor of Social Theory, Rutgers, www.robinfoxbooks.co, 5/21/2012

original art just like madison, there is one one...keep treking , keeping your eyes open to natural things...

terri fortescue, 3/28/2013

moving and powerful

Barbara, 3/31/2013

Over the years that I’ve been looking At your work your keen eye for seeing the hidden Spiritual awakened sprits with in geology The Spirits seem to speak to you in way of exposing their hidden meaning to all of us. What a gift you have and continued to share with us and with the world. keep hunting in spiritual ways.

B.jentz, 10/1/2013

This is such stunning work, so evocative, original, pure magic! I have watched Madison from a distance, seen how she has grown, her genius galloping along beside her. I don't know how her work can reach the broader world, but surely it must - in these crazy times, gives one a moment of pause and relief. Bravo champion woman, keep going! Xo

Jewels, 10/10/2014

These are amazing

Jonn, 5/20/2015

I am truly inspired; especially nurtured by your description following: " the ability to see anything we choose to see, and differently... to know the sacred, spirit nature of the earth." jmr

Marie Griffith, 10/20/2015

Again, your work amazes me. So unique and spiritually inspiring.

Marie Griffith-Taos, 5/11/2016

I am amazed with these photographs. I have never seen anything like these natural rock portraits but now that I see these I can see more in nature. Thank you to the photographer.

Ilsa nordstrom, 7/4/2016

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