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The spirit of woman lies in the heart.
It shows in her eyes.
Young and old.
May it never diminish.
Woman who experience a lot in their lives
can just get stronger, more luminous
more caring, more understanding.
May the spirit of woman never die.
For each of us.
Kintamani – A ceremony for life
The festival is Odalan, a celebratory festival which takes place in each of Bali’s ten thousand or more temples each six months, or to be more precise, every 210 days. This festival is taking place in the mountain hamlet of Kintamani, which perches high on the caldera of a still very much active, volcano.
Photographing a ceremony as crowded as this one, is an interesting challenge. People are everywhere – processions, groups, dancers, priests, and their assistants, children and onlookers, all crowd into your lens. I see the challenge is to extract from this unformed canvas, to portray vignettes, to distill, to find the essence, whether it is in a flower, a face or a little cameo scene that is being enacted in the midst of the quiet chaos surrounding…. It is so easy to simply photograph a crowd, to show the abundance of people present, but to extract from that scene to find your own personal vision, takes time.
The island of Bali is well known as a centre of Hindu religion, culture and thought. Here in the remote Brahmin hamlet of Budakeling in the foothills of Mt Agung, the island’s holiest mountain, the village of Budakeling is home to devout Buddhists. Surrounded by verdant padi fields, the people live in harmonious peace. Their high priests are much sought after across the island, to officiate at important ceremonies where they will usually sit side by side with Siwa (Shivaite) priests.Their rituals are complex, their paraphernalia impressive and it is always appreciated. Buddhism and Shiva-Hinduism are a duality. They co-exist in harmony – two sides of the same coin. In Budakeling, even the offerings are different to the rest of Bali as are the people.
It is a village of peace, where it seems never a harsh word is spoken.
“What motives me to take photographs? The answer to this is my continual quest to portray the beauty of people or a situation. When photographing people I try to get past the fasçade and to make a connection with that person; to get through to the Self, the soul and the essence of that person.”
Jill Gocher is a Bali based international photographer has spent her life exploring and enjoying Asian cultures. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Time, International Herald Tribune, Asia Spa, Discovery, Silver Kris and many more. Her books – Asia’s legendary Hotels, Periplus, Bali- Island of Light -Marshall Cavendish, Indonesia – Islands of the Imagination. Periplus, Australia – the land down under – Times Editions, Singapore, Indonesia – the last paradise – Times Editions. She has held exhibitions in Singapore, Kathmandu, and Bali.