Magical Communion -Professional Photographer Magazine Feature!

Magical Communion -Professional Photographer Magazine Feature!

Excited to be the featured photographer in the February 2016 edition of Professional Photographer Magazine (a 6 page spread!)

MAGICAL COMMUNION   One friend told her she was crazy; another said she was insane. Others were even less kind. “I didn’t really blame them for telling me I was nutty to travel to Niger in West Africa in 2013,” says Manhattan- based Terri Gold. “After all, Ebola had recently broken out and the U.S. State Department was warning against traveling to much of the country.” The Peace Corps and other NGOs had already pulled out of Niger due to threats from extremist groups such as Boko Haram. But Gold was unfazed. The globetrotting photographer had already traveled to Rajasthan, India; the Omo Valley, Ethiopia; Lhasa, Tibet; Kham, China, and a slew of other hard-to-reach, often dangerous places to document what she calls “cross-cultural moments in time” and “the unguarded moment.” Ever since she’d seen photographer Carol Beckwith’s 1983 book, “Nomads of the Niger,” she’d wanted to visit the landlocked country, hoping to photograph the Wodaabe nomads as they celebrate their annual weeklong courtship ritual, the Guerewol Festival. “I’m pretty stubborn once I’ve set my mind on doing something,” explains Gold. “Besides, this was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip.”

Screenshot 2016-01-29 15.01.36GREATER RISK, GREATER REWARD   That said, an email from the trip’s Africabased organizer did give her pause. “She was writing to reassure us,” remembers Gold, who planned to travel to Niger with two other photographers. “She told us, ‘Don’t worry. We will have 20 armed guards with .50 caliber machine guns to accompany us, and it would take a multi-vehicle convoy to attack us.’” Gold pauses and adds, “We talked about calling off the trip but this was too good an adventure to cancel.” Her persistence and courage paid off. The remarkable images she captured during her three-week adventure have earned her numerous national and international awards and have been reprinted in online media, including the Huffington Post and the BBC. But more important to Gold is that they’re the latest contributions to her lifework, a yet-to-bepublished series of ritual and celebration photographs she’s made all around the world, dubbed “Still Points in a Turning World.” The collection’s T.S. Eliott-inspired title refers to rituals and moments that tie all people together, she says. Gold began her photography career shooting weddings and was intrigued by how vulnerable people acted during what she calls “grace moments.” “I loved capturing people’s emotions and how they were feeling during these special, unguarded moments,” she says. “I am not showcasing otherness, but rather providing a window on our common humanity.” Gold has exibited her work in Spain, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Colorado, Vermont and at the Annenberg Space for Photography. She’s preparing for more exhibitions this year. Recent awards include the International Photography Awards, Prix de la Photographie Paris, Humanity Photo Awards, and the Black and White Spider Awards.

Screenshot 2016-01-29 15.01.58UNDER THE SPELL    Since childhood, Gold has been fascinated by explorers such as Mary Kingsley, Isabella Bird, and Alexandra David-Neel, intrepid women who traveled to foreign lands to report on cultures and traditions. When Gold herself began traveling, first to Asia in the late 1980s, she noticed a common humanity among various cultures. “While we may have our bar mitzvah, a foreign tribe may have a bull jumping ceremony,” Gold says. “These rituals look different, but the values are the same. We laugh and cry at the same things. I wanted to try to capture that on film.” She began visiting parts of the world that fired her Screenshot 2016-01-29 15.02.11imagination and brought along her camera gear. “While friends were going to Paris or London, I was more interested in setting off for those curious corners of the world, such as Timbuktu or Rajasthan—places that seemed to me to be steeped in mystery and intrigue.” She admits these self-assigned trips could be expensive, but because she has no children to support, “I am free to follow my own passion.” That passion included a desire to highlight the mysterious side—what she terms “the magic realism”—of the places she visited. She’s long used infrared film and knew it could give her that special quality she sought. “I like the way infrared pierces the veil; it has an invisible iridescent quality, a shimmer to it. It illuminates another dimension,” says Gold. “I thought it was the perfect film for these parts of the world where there is so much mystery.” Using infrared harkened back to her days as a lith printer, a process she learned at Manhattan’s International Center of Photography in the 1990s. “With lith printing no two prints were the same,” says Gold. “I liked the sense of discovery it offered. It was always a dance in the darkroom.” Infrared film offers her a similar surprise element. “Infrared gives you the mysterious right away. It also sees things you don’t see,” says Gold. “You don’t know exactly where the colors are going to fall. For example, you do know the green leaves are going to turn slightly white but it all depends on how the sun is hitting the leaves. It’s the same with water. It’s impossible to pre-visualize with infrared. “Many of my early photography mentors talked about the necessity of pre-visualizing your work, but that did not work for me. I want to go on a journey with my photographs and want to be surprised. I love the unexpected.”

Screenshot 2016-01-29 15.02.25Inspired by a friend’s photograph that had been painted, Gold began painting on her own prints, often adding encaustic wax. She sometimes uses extensive post-processing and is fond of split toning. “Taking pictures is just the beginning for me,” says Gold. In the pre-digital days Gold had to carry four to five cameras—everything from several 35mm cameras loaded with regular and infrared film to a Mamiya and a Hasselblad and film changing bags. “I would freak out at airports and beg the customs people not to open my infrared film canisters. Now it’s a lot easier, and I travel with converted infrared digital cameras.” She usually carries a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. “Digital has freed me up so much,” says Gold. “I have more freedom in aperture, exposure, and shutter speed. And now for the first time with infrared I can get some idea of what I am shooting.” Gold captures almost all her subjects in infrared but admits, “It doesn’t always work. I know it has its limitations, but I always give it a try. I always also have a color camera along with me.” If making memorable photography is about capturing a moment, then Terri Gold’s trip to Niger is a life lesson in the importance of making those moments happen. As she readily admits, it would have been very easy for her to cancel her trip because of all the perceived dangers. “In fact, a week or so after we left Niger, al-Qaeda rebels spilled over into the country from Libya,” she says. “If we had cancelled or delayed our trip, we never would have gotten back there.” But she didn’t cancel. She braved 110-plus degree Fahrenheit heat to document a ceremony in one of the world’s most remote deserts and returned with powerful images. For all the travel warnings, her trip went smoothly. “Any worries about violence and unrest disappeared during our time amongst the welcoming Wodaabe, especially when we camped under a tapestry of the Milky Way accompanied by the chanting of the nomads and the lullabies of their animal herds.” While she hesitates to describe herself as brave, she says she now understands completely the Wodaabe adage she learned on her trip: Who cannot bear the smoke will never get to the fire. • terrigoldworldimagery.com

Robert Kiener is a writer based in Vermont.

 

2011 International Photography Awards – Lucie Foundation


2011 International Photography Awards Announces Winners of the Competition

 Some of the top professionals in the business partner with the Lucie Foundation to present the prestigious International Photography Awards, this year I’ve been awarded 7 Honorable Mentions.

Thanks so much to all the judges.

 Honorable Mention in People – Culture category for the winning entry “Still Points In A Turning World-Tribal Villages In Guizhou”

Terri Gold was awarded an Honorable Mention in People – Culture category for the winning entry “Requiem-Buglisi Dance Theatre”

Terri Gold was awarded an Honorable Mention in People – Portrait category for the winning entry “Ben and his Horse”

Terri Gold was awarded an Honorable Mention in People – Culture category for the winning entry “Into the Mist in Guizhou”

Terri Gold was awarded an Honorable Mention in People – Culture category for the winning entry “Sister’s Meal Festival in Guizhou”

Terri Gold was awarded an Honorable Mention in People – Children category for the winning entry “Pheasant Miao boys in Guizhou”

Terri Gold was awarded an Honorable Mention in People – Culture category for the winning entry “Guping Mountain Miao”

Terri Gold and Steve Miller: PLANET Opening Reception

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Planet Press Release

 

Julie Keyes presents the exhibition “Planet” at 4 North Main Gallery opening Friday, July 29th from 5 PM to 8PM. In the exhibition, “Planet”, Keyes curates a visual conversation between photographer Terri Gold and painter Steve Miller. 

 Planet: Populations migrate and indigenous cultures disappear.  The competition for natural resources depletes our biodiversity while science proves the earth is warming.  We live in a planet under stress where Terri Gold captures the last moments of fading cultures. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise of healers and weavers, poets and saints. Steve Miller uses medical technology to give the planet a check-up.  If the Amazon rain forests are the lungs of the planet, then Miller x-rays these lungs to look inside the patient, Earth.

 Terri Gold’s lifelong body of work “Still Points in a Turning World “focuses on Asia’s vanishing tribal heritage and has been widely published and exhibited. Recently, she was featured in aCurator Magazine and Lenscratch and was a winner in the Planet Magazine and London International Creative Competitions. Gold’s work is interpretive in nature and incorporates the use of infrared light and the invisible light spectrum. She is interested in the myriad ways in which people find meaning in their lives, how an individual explores his or her existence through their traditions. This current series, entitled “Into the Mists of Time “ is about life in Guizhou, China.

 Over the past 25 years, Steve Miller has presented 33 solo exhibitions at institutions in the United States, China, France, and Germany. His exhibitions have been reviewed in Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, ArtForum, ARTnews, and Art in America. Miller was one of the first artists to experiment with computers in the early 1980’s, and his work today continues to integrate science and technology with fine art.  Using the lens of technology Miller reinvents at the traditional painted portrait, the world of fashion, particle physics, molecular biology and the world environmental crisis. His current project, entitled “Health of the Planet,” is about the rainforest in Brazil.

 

4 North Main Gallery is located at 1 North Main Street in Southampton, New York.

Gallery hours: July 30th, 12 – 7PM and July 31st, 12-5PM. 

 All inquiries to:

juliekeyes15@yahoo.com

terrigoldworldimagery.com

stevemiller.com 


Into the Mists of Time: Guizhou, China

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Artist Statement

Planet : Into the Mists of Time

4 North Main Gallery     Southampton , New York      Opening Friday July 29th 5 to 8 pm

                                                                                                                                                   

 

My ongoing body of work, “Still Points in a Turning World”, explores our universal cross-cultural truths: the importance of family, community, ritual and the amazing diversity of its expression. This chapter in the series is entitled “Planet: Into the Mists of Time”.

 In April 2011, I returned to Guangxi and Guizhou China, an area rich in minority culture and stunningly beautiful. When I was last there in 1997, I visited Miao, Dong and Shui villages that had never received western guests. I wondered how different it would be…

 Each day our van would climb around hundreds of switchbacks, our faithful driver Chen, his eyes totally focused, honking at each bend. Winding our way through 2000-year-old rice terraces intricately carved into the mountainside, higher and higher into the mists, the landscape green and lush, roads newly built and muddy, finally we would arrive.

 The villagers awaited us with welcome ceremonies that have not changed for generations. Men playing bamboo flutes and women dancing in magnificent, elaborately hand-embroidered outfits with sparkling silver pheasant and dragon headdresses. The older people are still wearing traditional dress everyday but the next generation only wears these colorful garments for festivals. This is a significant change, for these tribes’ identity is best represented by their intricate textile work. Now the younger generation wants a different life.

 The city has become a synonym for modernity, the country backwardness. These are not stagnant societies there is change in the air. It is predicted that in the next few decades, China will experience the largest human migration in the world’s history, from rural to urban. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise of healers and weavers, silversmiths and musicians, poets and saints.

 My work is interpretive in nature. My technique involves creating imagery using the invisible infrared light spectrum. Working with infrared light suits the subject matter and the timeless quality of the images. The post processing is part of my medium creating work that combines the use of the lens with technology.

 We all lose when ancient skills and visionary wisdom are forgotten. . Traditions and rituals are still points, they are our histories and our connections to the past, and they are our future as well.  As a “visual archeologist” I am interested in capturing these last moments of the tapestry of tribal life.

Departure and Arrival

This is a great moment, when you see, however distant, the goal of your wandering.

The thing which has been living in your imagination suddenly becomes a part of the tangible world.

– Freya Stark


 

 

Off to China – leaving this afternoon – into the wild blue yonder…

I will post pictures if I can – if not I will be back in touch when I return late April !

Practice meandering towards the center of every place

Sisters Meal Festival-Guizhou, China 1997

These last days before I leave  are always the hardest-a mix between organizing my art, business and life at home, trying to make my bags lighter and focusing on my goals for the trip – how to go deeper – to see with feeling. I have been rereading”The Art of Pilgrimage”, a book I always look at before I leave .

I came across these thoughts and  I am printing them  to read each morning

A good way to begin the day…

The Five Excellent Practices Of Pilgrimages

Practice the arts of attention and listening.

Practice renewing yourself everyday.

Practice meandering towards the center of every place.

Practice the ritual of reading sacred texts.

Practice gratitude and praise-singing.

South Of The Clouds – In Guizhou and Guangxi

A Toast In Guizhou

South Of The Clouds – as Southwest China is known – is pastoral, stunningly beautiful, richly steeped in minority culture – I am returning to the provinces of Guangxi and Guizhou in April, which I last visited In 1997.
I will be traveling from village to village, with my sister and a few others. Along the way  engaging with local families and exploring their individual customs, history and lifestyles and how they are changing with the incursion of the modern world. The rich tapestry of minority life is truly Guizhou’s majesty. In 1997 I visited villages that had never received western guests. I wonder how different it will be…
As we gradually make our way to Guangxi, we watch the surrounding landscape evolve. One destination is Guilin, where stunning scenes of  limestone hills across a horizon of lakes and rice fields, have been the source of inspiration for Chinese painters for centuries.

Getting ready now- in expedition mode-assembling all my gear-reading and studying about the culture and getting focused mentally on what I might want to create knowing it will evolve once I get there.