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a 1/1 art collection by Ina Grischau


The Collection includes includes a series of 4 art pieces created during a 2 year travel. A fifth art work will be added in time to finish the first era of quintessence.

The quintessence of a long journey lies not solely in the destination, but in the myriad of experiences and lessons learned along the way. Journeys have the power to challenge and transform us, introducing us to new cultures, ways of thinking, and perspectives.

They can push us to our limits, both physically and mentally, and inspire us to discover new depths within ourselves. By experiencing the world, we learn to appreciate its beauty and interconnectedness.

Last Light

Trail life is unpredictable, and it’s not always smooth sailing. During my trek, I encountered a group of mischievous school kids who snatched some of my belongings before I even started, and a newfound friend had to part ways due to a knee injury. I even had a close call with a wayward donkey that nearly sent me tumbling over the edge of the trail.

Despite the challenges I faced on the trek, witnessing one of the most stunning sunset over the world’s tallest mountain made it all worth it. We hiked up a hill right in front of it, and as the sun dipped below the jagged horizon, the snow-capped peaks lit up in a warm amber glow.

As we watched the colors change and shadows grow, we turned our heads constantly, trying to take it all in. The light began to fade, and the mountains were slowly enveloped in darkness, except for the highest peak, still bathed in a warm glow. The shadows continued to climb higher and higher until they reached the everlasting ice and stones, casting everything into a dark blue hue. It was a breathtaking spectacle, and we were all captivated by the beauty of the moment.

The sunset seemed to last forever, as we held our breath, watching the light shrink and shrink until it was gone. When it was over, we were immediately plunged into complete darkness. We relied on the light of the moon and stars to guide us down the trail to our accommodation, where we caught some rest before continuing our hike.

With one week left on the trail, I found myself daydreaming about showers and food options. But at that moment, I was still in awe of what we had just witnessed. The majesty of the sunset and the mountain range had left an indelible mark on my soul.

On 07 November 2017, I embarked on a trek that would take me on a journey of 21 days. On the 21st of November, I captured this stunning photo before returning to Kathmandu on the 28th of November, having hiked way over 170 km (105miles) in high altitude.

Singing Sands

The challenges we faced on our journey to conquer the Khongoryn Els sand dunes in Mongolia’s Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park were daunting, but the reward was worth every obstacle.

We braved being stranded in the desert and narrowly escaped a knife-wielding driver, all for the chance to behold one of the world’s most stunning landscapes.

At first, ascending the dunes seemed easy enough, but as we climbed higher, the sand began to fill our shoes, making every step a struggle.

We crawled on all fours, using our hands as makeshift supports, but the shifting sands threatened to undo our progress. Despite the grueling task, we refused to give up.

Finally, we reached the summit, and a breathtaking panorama of flatlands dotted with ger and grazing animals unfolded before us.

The beauty of the scene was enough to make our exhaustion melt away. On the opposite side, intricate formations of sand waves were sculpted by the wind, beckoning us to explore further.

I longed to capture the awe-inspiring view with my camera, but none of my companions were willing to venture down the smaller, wavy dunes for a photo.

So, I set my camera’s settings and descended alone. The sand rushed around me, and suddenly, a loud hum filled the air, and it felt as if the ground was vibrating.

I couldn’t believe it, but the sand was singing, creating a surreal and unforgettable moment.

As the sun began to dip below the horizon, the dunes were set ablaze in a brilliant array of light and shadow. The warm hues of the sand contrasted strikingly with the deep blues of the shadows, creating a vista of incomparable splendor.

We sat in silence, awestruck by the beauty of Khongoryn Els, and watched as the last light faded into the horizon. In its place, the small shape of the moon emerged, a tranquil end to an incredible day.

The Heart Story

The moody morning had just begun to open up to the rugged landscape around Mount Kailash as I set out on the three-day trek known as the kora. Though I’m not particularly spiritual, I had been drawn to this journey for the chance to explore Tibet and hike in such a beautiful place.

However, it was not the stunning scenery that made this journey unforgettable for me. It was the encounter with a Swiss man that left an indelible mark on my memory.

As I approached the first of two high passes, I encountered a tall Swiss man who began to explain to me, without me ever asking, the local beliefs surrounding the journey. His words were complex and difficult to follow due to the thin air, but I could sense their importance.

Suddenly, he produced a Swiss knife and held it up to my face, leaving me utterly confused and apprehensive. To my surprise, he reached out and snipped off a small braid of my hair. He explained that leaving something behind from the material world was part of the process of dying and spiritual rebirth.

I left my hair at the pass and didn’t see the Swiss man again until I reached the second and highest pass. He greeted me with open arms and a warm hug, saying „Happy new life“ and „Don’t make the same mistakes again.“

We hung a prayer flag as he instructed, which I had carried all the way, and marked it with the names of my parents and the person who had hurt me the most in my former life. The wind would take care of it, he said, and just like that, he was gone again.

The next day, I started seeing heart shapes everywhere – not just a few, but hundreds. At first, I chalked it up to the high altitude and the intensity of the experience, but the shapes persisted, appearing in stones and landscapes even after I had completed the kora.

And then, one month later on a trek in Nepal, I was left breathless. There, in the shape of a heart, rose a full Himalayan mountain. The sign could not be clearer. I can’t help but wonder what it means.

Jungle Mornings

The jungle morning is alive with the sounds of the natural world. In this land of steamy heat and dense foliage, the early hours of the day are a precious gift. The serene, clear air carries the promise of adventure and discovery.

As I wander down the road that leads through the jungle town, I am greeted by the locals riding their elephants to work in the fields. Women with brooms are sweeping the outside, as if to invite the day to enter.

I reach the river’s edge, which marks the boundary of the park, and follow it along its winding course, mindful of the creatures that share this space with me.

Suddenly, I spot movement in the grassy meadow a few feet away. A magnificent rhinoceros grazes contentedly, seemingly unaware of my presence. I stand still, breathing in the moment, watching the rhino’s every move.

As the sun begins to rise, the air is thick with morning mist, and dewdrops glisten on the leaves. The diffuse light paints everything in a warm, soft hue.

I walk along a path, scanning the surroundings for the perfect shot. And there it is, an old boat left to the elements and the jungle’s whims, but so full of character. I capture its essence, the way the light plays off its rough-hewn edges.

In this place of wonder and enchantment, where the jungle meets the river and the sun rises over the misty landscape, I am reminded of the power of nature and the importance of experiencing it firsthand. For it is in these moments, these brief glimpses into the beauty of the natural world, that we can find peace, inspiration, and a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

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© Ina Grischau 2024