By Terry Turrentine. Essay by Richard Lang; poem by Mary Oliver.
Santa Cruz, California: White Bird Press, 2015. Edition of 30 + 3 APs and 1 handling copy.
18 x 15"; 18 leaves. Archival pigment prints printed on Moab Entrada Natural Paper. 14 photographs and one photogravure. Typography and design by Noah Lang. Letterpress by Richard Seibert. Laid in clamshell box designed and made by John DeMerritt. Signed and numbered by the artist.
A portfolio of photographs of gannets taken by Terry Turrentine over the course of a summer in Canada. Included is a photogravure of a gannet's skull taken at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Richard Lang, her frequent collaborator, wrote an essay for the portfolio. Mary Oliver's poem "Gannets" is inset into the inside of the clamshell's lid.
Richard Lang, "Gannets":
"Why is there beauty?
"Terry Turrentine' s photographs may provide an answer but most of all they make the question real. She brings North Gannets into our lives first as art and then back again as wild living beings. Her use of emotionally affecting light and meticulous composition offer the experience of these creatures as though they had emanated from our own minds — as if from a pre-existing dream or from an awake-at-3-AM-revery. Her compositions lock the image-space into an elegant, formal essay about how shape, volume, edge of the picture plane latch their elements into 'rightness.'
"Turrentine brings to life the seabird colony on St. Bonaventure Island where sixty-five thousand pairs of birds oblivious to human presence calmly go about their business of displaying to one another, squabbling over territory, raising young and taking off into the blue, their compass-point beaks unerringly finding a meal for their young 'uns. …
"The photogravure (in this folio) of a gannet skull puts a lie to 'beauty's only skin deep.' The perfect beauty of this crown of bone is shaped by the dance of form and function. Every detail in this specimen, every surge of the bone, every curve in miniature directs the birds gaze into the watery deep.
"Turrentine proclaims with these photographs – they are now our Gannets – and maybe this is the answer to the beauty conundrum."