John Munno, an Oxford artist with 25 years of healing and wellness experience, was recently invited to curate a display of his local photographs at the Naugatuck Public Library through April 28 Featuring nature scenes from Oxford to Woodbury and Bethlehem to Acadia National Park in Maine,
John’s work has one cohesive mission, to heal and nurture through the capturing of unrecognized everyday beauty, to reconnect the human spirit with its source. “The message is that beauty is all around us,” he told Voices in an interview at the library this past weekend.
Having lived all across the country, in Hawaii, Colorado, Utah and Washington State, and traveling worldwide, in cities and landscapes each distinct from one another, John has noted the individual’s seeming innate inability to appreciate his proximate beauty. “Perhaps it’s because people often haven’t left the area they live, but there’s always an element of nature that people don’t initially understand,” John said. “It helps heal us. It helps us be happy and whole. It gives joy, meaning and purpose to life.”
Moving back to Connecticut, John saw the mentality replicated. His emergence from two-plus decades of healing work, however, lent him much-needed perspective. In Hawaii, John helped run, operate and manage a touch-healing center. He also served as a primary instructor in a similar Tucson, Ariz., operation — allowing him to travel and instruct worldwide. He became a certified homeopathic and opened his own practice. He explored herbology and sclerology, the reading of the lines around the eyes and on the feet. John’s work has, in essence, reached and helped thousands of people across state, national and continental borders find healing and inner peace.
Yet back in Washington, after suffering personal health complications related to mercury poisoning, he discovered individual healing amidst his past photography work, which helped John see an easy way to capture and illustrate the accessibility of nature and beauty. “As I looked through and worked with old slides, I began to feel healthier, happier even,” he said. “This is when I started to realize that in the images were actually healing powers, and in the depicted colors and intricacy of nature.”
His photography captures, therefore, sunset seascapes, waterfalls on dark wet rocks, white churches buried in white snow with white skies behind, as well as John’s obvious sensitivity for small, delicate phenomena. And while inspiring viewers to discover and connect with perhaps unaccounted local wonders, John’s photos simultaneously lend the healing and peace acquainted with natural-world submersion. “So it’s the integration of nature and healing that helps to teach us things,” he said. “Man always thinks he knows best. But by watching and observing nature, we learn things about being peaceful, about timelessness, about ourselves. “We are an integral part of nature. If we destroy it, we destroy ourselves. How we treat nature, what we do to nature, comes back on our heads and affects our species, our minds and our bodies.”
His showcase of Oxford, Beacon Falls, Kettletown State Park, Chapman Falls and other local scenes will be on display, and available for purchase, through the end of the month at the Naugatuck Library, 243 Church St.