J. M. GoldingBay Area, CA
My work explores the emotional and symbolic significance of the natural world as it reflects internal, subjective experience. Through the photograph, the world outside the person illuminates processes that are so deep inside the person that they may not be readily accessible to awareness. I often see multilayered aspects of inner worlds in reflection, shadow, and multiple exposure.
I work in lo-fi processes, primarily using traditional analogue methods, most often Holga and other plastic cameras and pinhole cameras. Using black and white film helps me to lift the image out of its specific context, which, in universalizing the content, enriches its symbolic function.
With plastic or toy cameras, there is a sense of playfulness and spontaneity in the process of creating images. I experience this as promoting access to the emotional logic and metaphoric thought that is often just beyond immediate awareness. The plastic lens’s dreamlike, blurred images, emerging from the darkness of their corners, are expressive of my sense of the interior world.
I’m drawn to pinhole cameras by their simplicity and the contemplative quality of pinhole work. Although for me, all photographic image creation is, in a sense, inexplicable, there is a special magic in creating an image using nothing but a tiny hole. The long exposures (up to 48 minutes in my work) promote what Ruth Bernhard described as empathy with the subject, “knowing what it feels like to be a leaf.” There is also a meditative element in sitting with the image from moment to moment as it is being made. The long exposure overlays these moments upon one another to create a single photograph that incorporates a dimension of time as we experience it.
J. M. Golding is a fine art photographer based in the San Francisco Bay area. A graduate of Yale University, she holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. J. M. chooses plastic and pinhole cameras as her primary photographic tools: plastic cameras such as the Holga and Diana for the playfulness and spontaneity they promote and their capacity to create dreamlike images, and pinhole cameras for their simplicity and their contemplative quality. J. M.’s photographs have been shown internationally in numerous juried group exhibitions; for example, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Annual International Juried Plastic Camera Shows and 3rd Annual Juried Pinhole Show (RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco, CA), Krappy Kamera XIII (Soho Photo, New York), 2010 and 2011 Open Juried Exhibitions (Photomedia Center, Erie, PA), and Low Fidelity (Lúz Gallery, Victoria, BC), and were included in Bending the Light (Oakland Museum exhibit at Oakland International Airport, CA, 2011-2). J. M. is the recipient of the Lúz Gallery Curator’s Choice Award and of Honorable Mentions in Imagination (A Smith Gallery), the 4th Annual Curious Camera Competition (Arts Eye Gallery), and Processes, Techniques, and Exploration (RayKo Gallery).