In the Places of the Spirits

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-07-07
  • Publisher: Univ of New Mexico Pr
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This book represents the culmination of David Grant Noble's forty-year career as a fine arts photographer and writer. It features seventy-six black-and-white photographs of the land, people, and deep past of the Southwest, most published here for the first time. Accompanying these beautiful images are personal reflections interwoven with historical and anthropological information. The moving passages reveal much about the man and the magnificent land that inspires his artistry.

"The places we know," Noble writes, "can be infused with memory and spirit, and landscapes can have soul. The stories contained may speak of creation, gods, mythic monsters, and heroes. They may hold narratives reminding us of triumphs and defeats, sorrows and joys. A place is more than a landform or an ecosystem; it has the capacity to evoke emotion, transmit knowledge and wisdom, and even show people how to live."

These photographs and words portray the land's soul, the artist's vision. Through them, the ancient landscapes and peoples of the Southwest tell their tales, display their beauty, remind us that we are only the most recent of many who have lived and been inspired here.

"This book is about humanity, timelessness, and place in the American Southwest. Amidst an alternating beat of facts, personal narrative, and photographs of landscapes imprinted with ancient images and ancestral homes, the reader/viewer is engaged in a singular odyssey through centuries and sacred space where the boundaries of time are erased. As David Noble explores the unpredictable and uncertain bridges between past and present, he weaves all of us into a continuous---if not seamless---fabric of being in a moment in time."---Polly Schaafsma, author of Indian Rock Art of the Southwest

"Explorer, writer, and photographer extraordinaire David Grant Noble leads us on an archaeological odyssey through the Southwestern landscape. The spirituality of the places and the Native American inhabitants, both contemporary and ancient, are splendidly captured by Noble's elegant prose and vivid photographs. In the Places of the Spirits is a very personal chronicle by one of the Southwest's most sensitive and insightful observers."---Mark Michel, President, The Archaeological Conservancy

"This book sums up one scholar/artist's lifetime of good work and takes us deep into the soul of the Southwest."---Stephen Trimble, author of The People: Indians of the American Southwest

"In the Places of the Spirits renews our appreciation of the ancient heritage of the American Southwest and of the modern art of photography."---George A. Miles, Curator, Western Americana Collection, Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

"It took time to find the hand- and toe-hold trail down the cliff; then, with the aid of a rope, we carefully descended to the canyon floor and entered the maze of twisting, meandering branches. Surrounded by steep rock walls, we could not see our landmarks and we lost our sense of direction. Rain showers came and went. At midday, with hopes of finding the pictographs dimmed, we stopped to rest and eat. Afterward, we set off again, turned a corner, and there they were---tall, elongated, ghostlike anthropomorphic figures, some with striped bodies and horns, others with bulbous heads and thin, fragile legs. One had its arm outstretched, rabbits running along the forearm and a plant sprouting from the delicate fingertips. Further along the cliff, a goggle-wearing humanoid stared at me forbiddingly as I photographed. Each gave the illusion of hovering in a space of its own, somewhere between solid rock and air. From an intangible dimension between worlds they watched us in silence. They had an aura of death and life without end."---David Grant Noble, In the Places of the Spirits, Part I

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