Artist Christina Lonsdale grew up during the time of fascination with everything new age in the 1960s but as the internet grew, she entered the world of the Digital New Age. When the artist encountered “aura photography,” which is made with the use of a very special camera that can actually capture a person’s individual essence and electromagnetic energy, thereby illuminating their true selves, she found the perfect marriage of art and science. For audiences, this means a deeper connection with the subjects.
Metal sensors help capture a person’s inner vibe inside a specially-designed “dome” that looks like a small spaceship, wherein energy can be viably concentrated. Using a hand-modified Polaroid camera, the wavelengths of a sitter’s spirit are translated into vibrant and otherworldly colors. With her newfound tools, Lonsdale found that she was able to connect her formative childhood experiences with those of the burgeoning realm of social media to embark. Therefrom sprang the triumph of the Radiant Human project.
“As human beings, we carry electricity inside us,” Lonsdale said in a 2019 interview with Artnet News. “It radiates past our skin in what’s known as an electromagnetic field.” What emerges, in Lonsdale’s words, is essentially the OG Instagram filter. “Instead of doggie ears and Coachella wreathes, you have the color of your energy,” she says.
In the book, Lonsdale provides detailed case studies that describe what certain colors indicate about a person’s aura. Through hundreds of photographs, including remarkable images of celebrities such as Busy Philipps, Zosia Mamet, Chloë Sevigny, Joseph Altuzarra, and SZA, she pulls out the nuances of individuals’ personalities through the gradient colors of a Polaroid. Sometimes, the auras are almost imperceptible, but it’s exactly those discreet and subtle changes that make up the whole of a person’s aura.
“Perceptions can pivot with the click of a shutter,” Lonsdale says on the project’s website, “illuminating our truest selves, and giving new light to what was there all along.”
Here new book, Radiant Human: Discover the Connection Between Color, Identity, and Energy is out this month.