Beach Sculpture | Kelly O'Leary

A photo by Kelly O'Leary of a decaying tree on a beach | Photo Title: Beach Sculpture | 
        Photo by Kelly O'Leary ©2023
Beach Sculpture | ©2023 Kelly O'Leary

About this Photograph

In the mesmerizing stillness of black and white, this photograph by Kelly O’Leary encapsulates the delicate balance between life and death, creation and dissolution. It offers a profound insight into the relentless cycle of existence while inviting introspection on the nature of our own transient lives.

Beyond the tree, relentless crashing of waves batter the shore, sounding off stories of the past and present. Their rhythmic cadence serves as a reminder of the ocean’s enduring power, forever sculpting the shifting sands that serve as both monument and canvas for this intriguing sight. The interplay between light and shadow dances across the rippled surface, highlighting the profound beauty hidden within the depths of desolation.

Overhead, an ominous layer of clouds casts a surreal veil upon the scene. These clouds, dense and foreboding, stand as an allegory for life’s uncertainties and the impermanence of existence. Yet, it is within this juxtaposition of light and darkness, beauty and decay, that the true brilliance of this photograph emerges.

As we gaze upon this elegantly composed scene, we are reminded of the profound metaphorical beauty present even in the most desolate corners of nature. This “Beach Sculpture” serves as a reminder that even in the face of decay, the artistry of impermanence continues to mystify and inspire us all as a mesmerizing stillness of black and white.

From The Artists

 | Photo by Kelly O'Leary ©
© Kelly O'Leary
"All is not always lost. Shot on a frigid, rainy late-February afternoon at Smyrna Dunes along the NE coast of Florida. Winter storms across the country pushed a cold front into the sunshine state, creating blustery conditions not typically seen here. I set out to capture images of the wildly whipping seas that resulted from these storms, but my plans were quickly thwarted. Dashing between rain showers, I trekked my gear a decent stretch along the meandering maze of boardwalks to make my way down to the beach, feeling the temperature dropping and winds become more fierce as I grew closer to the water. From a distance, I could see fine sheets of sand skating across the vast, barren stretch of beach at a furious clip, creating a gauzy film in the air. As I stepped out onto the shore, the roar of the ocean was heavy, the bitter wind and airborne sand were biting, and managing any footing in the gale was a challenge at best. In order to protect my gear, I knew my shoot would be quite brief, if anything at all. Squinting, I quickly scanned each direction of desolate coastline and yards ahead, sat this lone, intriguing figure. As if by design, a poetic assemblage of organic debris strewn about by the winds and caught themselves upon the skeletal remains of a tree, all creating a stately sculptural form set against the burgeoning sea and lit beautifully by an obscure break in the thick blanket of clouds above. Grateful for this moment of splendor amid the storm."
~Kelly O'Leary