“Taking Measure” is the most recent series of photographs by Neil Folberg consisting of eighteen alluring images of Icelandic landscapes. The catalyst for this series was on March 19, 2015 when Neil Folberg traveled to the Faroe Islands to capture images of a total solar eclipse. Using Google Earth to pinpoint the eclipse’s exact location, he felt the effects of this natural phenomenon, as the sky darkened and the temperature dropped, but never saw the sun disappear behind the moon. Although the eclipse was not visible through the clouds, Folberg understood that imagination goes beyond what is actually seen. This led him to set out on a journey to explore the relationship between man, nature, and the cosmos; continuing themes previously investigated in his “Celestial Nights” series.
The series considers our physical and spiritual presence on earth, and how time and change not only has an effect on our passive surroundings but how “time and change are measured in the years beyond our existence.” Taking inspiration from the work of symbolist painters such as Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and Georgia O’Keefe, Folberg observed how the sun serves as a symbol of “transcendent energy” and how these artists use “the land as a canvas on which to project themselves.” He looks for visual and metaphorical connections to the land, the horizon, and the cosmos in order to embody ideas of creation, transcendence and universal mortality. “Taking Measure” emanates from a desire to depict the immense beauty of our surroundings using light, land, and the artist as the subject within these vividly conceptual photographs.
Neil Folberg, with the help of Francis Atterbury at Hurtwood Press in London, produced a limited edition, large format artist book entitled, “Taking Measure,” that was shortlisted for the “Best British Book” in 2017. He was born in San Francisco in 1950 but spent most of his childhood in the Midwest. He became interested in photography around 1966 and soon after became a pupil of renowned photographer Ansel Adams. Folberg continued his photographic education at the University of California at Berkeley and individualized study with landscape photographer William Garnett that led to a BA in Photographic Field Studies. Galleries worldwide have exhibited Folberg's work and his photographs are in collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Yale University Art Museum, Bibliothéque Nationale in Paris, and the Israel Museum, among others. Folberg lives in Jerusalem where he continues to produce work.