“In each person’s life there seems to come a time or moment, when life is suddenly no longer the way it was. We cross many thresholds in a lifetime and some of the greatest thresholds are crossed voluntarily and some involuntarily. Either way, the world we end up in is nothing like life before, nor what we had envisioned. “ – Sulfiati Magnuson
Sulfiati Magnuson has led a life rich with experience, wisdom and spirit. Coming of age in the Sixties, her photographs of the California music scene capture the faces of a generation at the threshold of something new – the discovery of wonder and excitement, the power of the creative force and love.
Never seen before, her photographs are dizzying in the intimacy and surrender of her subjects.
Sulfiati photographed a number of landmark events such as the Elysian Park Love-In of 1967, the Monterey International Pop Festival and the Big Sur Festival of 1968. Wide-eyed and wide lensed, her photographs are witness to the facts and the feeling of an explosive tide turning.
Sulfiati’s photographs include the opening moments of now iconic musicians such as Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Eric Clapton, Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkle, Cass Elliot, Jackson Brown, Ravi Shankar, Judy Collins and Otis Redding as they stepped into their power as artists.
Sulfiati is many things. An artist, mother, therapist, spiritual force, teacher and academic. She grew up immersed in the arts and the pursuit of beauty in all forms.
As a Psychotherapist, Sulfiati considers herself a guide to help navigate uncharted, seemingly chaotic swirling waters of change to the new life that awaits. As a photographer, Sulfiati’s images serve as an inspiration to cross a threshold that can take you into a life as yet unlived, unknown, unpredictable and often frightening. But any one of these events can serve to call you to live the life meant to be lived, taking one’s place on the wheel of our times.
Photography for Sulfiati is simply a form of spiritual practice.
Sulfiati’s photographs are more than archival evidence of a time in history that was unprecedented and some say never to be repeated. Sulfiati’s photographs are an expression of eager eyes, hopeful eyes, transformative eyes. They are witness to, as she has said, “those moments in life when what is essentially human is revealed.”