Nymphs: A Photographic Exploration of Human Connection and Nature’s Healing Power by Niki Stevens
Niki Stevens, a photographer and psychotherapist, whose photos capture moments that reflect the relationship between people, their surroundings, and the history of a place. Stevens aims to create a wordless dialogue that invites viewers to reflect and find their own interpretations.
In her project “Nymphs” (2020-2021), Stevens aims to expose our tendency to take our existence for granted and treat our environment with disconnect. This disconnection separates us from our spirits and shared responsibility, reflecting how we treat ourselves and others. The project features human forms within the natural environment, emphasizing our connection to our surroundings. Stevens draws inspiration from ancient Greek mythology and the belief that spirits existed in all aspects of nature. Nymphs, as protectors of the environment, possessed healing and restorative powers. By reclaiming the word “nymph,” Stevens aims to reconnect with the purity and interconnectedness of nature and our own sexuality.
In ancient Greek mythology nymphs were protective spirits of the natural environment, who possessed powers of healing, feeding, and restoring strength. Nymphs were fierce deities, which had rightly been adored by humans for their contribution to the natural equilibrium. In the way that the word nymph is used now, it has been ripped of its original content from the myth and has been used as a shaming word. In a similar way our sexuality and our position within nature has been taken away from us and been sold back to us as something distorted and far away from its original pureness. So, reclaiming the word nymph allows us to connect with the elements of nature within us, which will always know how to return home.