‘After the ecstasy the laundry’ is the title of a book written by Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist dharma teacher who combines eastern mysticism with western psychology. Kornfield suggests that the real work of enlightenment commences not in moments of realisation, wisdom and clarity, but rather in the integration of these the insights into the daily grind of life – ie, our laundry.
Panni’s photographic practice has always abstracted the documentary process, using the camera to reveal an expression of spirituality. Each photograph in this series comes from the direct experience of spiritual practice, using yoga and meditation to try and transform conditioned, habitual ways of seeing. The images are layered in the darkroom using a wet print procedure of solarisation, painting, burning and dodging techniques. Some images do not rely on the tool of a camera.
The laundry functions as a symbol for the purification of the conditioned mind. The wash can lift the veil of our habitual way of seeing. This can reveal truths and shift ways in which we operate and engage with ourselves in daily life. It cleanses the blockages, reveals our armour, thus allowing us to flow, observe and open to the fullness of love.
The soundtrack has been created by Rolo McGinty who previously collaborated with Panni with his band The Woodentops. This soundtrack has been composed from the sounds of washing machine cycles, which are interwoven with a spasmodic voiceover. It commences with the dirty wash through to the purity of the water, engaging with whale song and revealing a sparkling euphoric harp that ends the cycle, played by Camille Marie.