White Bird Press ~ California
(Terry Turrentine)

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Terry Turrentine: "As a girl, I was a hunter. When I was 10 years old, my father bought me a .410 shotgun and taught me how to shoot. I was proud to be a member of the National Rifle Association and happily sewed my membership patch on the front of my hunting vest. I came by this naturally because I was born into a firearms family. My great grandfather was the inventor and firearms designer John M. Browning. … [now] I shoot frame after frame with my camera rather than a firearm—from early morning until the end of the day—knowing that the only bad light is when there isn’t enough."
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."


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Snowy Owl
By Terry Turrentine
with an essay by Richard Lang and a poem by Mary Oliver
San Francisco, California: White Bird Press, 2013. Edition of 30.

15 color photographs by Terry Turrentine. Letterpress printed. In clamshell box.

Color photographs of a female Snowy Owl with essay by Richard Lang and a poem by Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver.

Terry Turrentine: "After completing an artists’ book on the Great Egret, I was looking for the next species to study, one with a similar combination of beauty, power, and grace. I discovered my next photographic subject: the snowy owl, a solitary species with the strength and courage to survive in a very harsh arctic environment. And who, despite the encroachment of civilization and climate change, is still able to endure.

"I immediately felt the need to document their existence for all time, as they are now an endangered species.

Snowy owls live at least nine years, are monogamous, and are powerful birds of prey. They hunt in large territories in open tundra from sea level to 1000 feet. Living in Polar Regions around the world, they lay from 3 to 16 white eggs a year depending on their food supply.

"After four years and thousands of miles of travel in Canada and the Arctic, I was fortunate to find a 3-year old solitary female snowy owl in a frozen cornfield in northern Quebec, Canada. I named her Charlotte.

"She flies gracefully and silently in the stark winter environment. Her piercing yellow eyes capture warmth and sunlight and become a focus against the cool blue shadows of the snow. One of the heaviest owls, with a 5-foot wingspan, she still exhibits the graceful gentleness and powerful beauty of the Feminine.

"Since ancient times, the Owl has been regarded as a sacred, mystical being, whose vast mythology expresses strength, beauty, and prophetic vision. In these portraits, I have tried to capture the aura of “my” snowy owl’s mystery…the mystery of life itself.

"With deep respect, I thank Charlotte and wish her a long and healthy life."


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The Brass Bed
A Story of Love Lost and Love Found
By Terry Turrentine
with Red Berry Editions
Fairfax, California: Red Berry Editions, 2010. Edition of 25.

11 x 7.5"; 44 pages. Letterpress printed on Rives using Apple Casual type. Japanese stab binding. Bound by hand in Japanese handmade paper of Shizen with silkscreen prints.

Red Berry Editions: "The Brass Bed is a true fairy tale about love lost and found. The narrative is accompanied by charming illustrations by Carl Dern."

Carl Dern (1936 - 2009) worked in the field of applied arts, creating unique steel and bronze furniture and artistic chandeliers. The illustrations in The Brass Bed are drawings from the brass structures Dern created.

Red Berry Editions was founded in 2008 by Marie C. Dern and Jane M. Downs. Jane Downs retired from the University of California Press in 2008. She is co-editor of Cloud View Poets, An Anthology, published in 2005. Marie Dern began Jungle Garden Press in 1974, which publishes small editions of letterpress-printed hand-bound books.

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White Bird Press Out of Print Title:  

The Great Egret
By Terry Turrentine, with an essay by Richard Lang
Santa Cruz, California: White Bird Press, 2007. Edition of 30.

15 duotone photographs, 12 x 15" archival digital pigment prints on Somerset paper imaged by Conor Collins at Electric Works. Plus a pamphlet (7 x 11.5", 20 pages) printed letterpress by Richard Seibert on Hosho paper with Goudy Old Style and Lucida Calligraphy typefaces. Cover paper: Tairei. Book designed and bound by Marie Dern of Jungle Garden Press. Housed in cloth-covered clamshell box by John DeMerritt with title embossed on lid and a photograph (2.875 x 1.5") of an egret tipped on and inset. The inner covers of the box covered with photograph of rookery foliage. Top inner cover layered to provide support for pamphlet.

Fifteen dramatic photographs of Great Egrets plus a general essay "Great Egrets" by Richard Lang and the short autobiographical sketch by the photographer. Terry Turrentine's great grandfather was John M. Browning, noted firearms designer. Shooting and hunting were an important part of her early years. Today, she shoots only with a camera.                 

Terry Turrentine: "Egret rookeries are usually out of reach of even the longest telephoto lens and it's an arduous search for the right location. They are very sensitive to the presence of humans and will abandon their nests at the slightest hint of human interference. Sometimes, several seasons will come and go and I'll get no usable shots. On other occasions, I'll find just the right location with hundreds of Great Egrets building nests and attracting mates. I set up my tripod, camera and lens and for the next several hours I completely lose myself in the sensuality of their form. I shoot frame after frame from early morning until the end of the day, knowing that the only bad light is when there isn't enough."

Richard Lang: "These photographs come to us as new texts, bringing tidingsof creation. They fill the need to connect with the world outside of ourselves, and they ring true to the ancient pathways of the psyche.

"Art is the connective tissue between nature and the inner person. These photographs illuminate this point: they are unsentimental but full of wonder. In looking at the images, we many find ourselves re-examining our relationship to the real world. We may relish the way nature slowly reveals itself. In Terry Turrentine's work, we will find a reflection of both the way things are and the way we want them to be."
$1,500 (SOLD)



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Page last update: 08.17.18

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