5.9 – 16.9 2017
Cig Harvey:Holding The Blue
05.09 – 16.09.2017
Holding the Blue showcased 30 photographs from Harvey’s career, taken between 2003 and 2017, as a prelude to the publication of her book You an Orchestra, You a Bomb in November 2017.
Often highly orchestrated, Harvey’s early works created a fantasy version of her own life experiences. Using herself as a model, each image was self-referential and meticulously mapped out to include specific metaphors, symbols and content. As her work progressed, Harvey introduced increasing amounts of spontaneity and branched out to include other models, such as neighbours, her daughter and husband. In Harvey’s most recent work, which focuses on her home town in Maine, mundane locations and events are depicted with strange colour combinations or unexplained light, which lend the images an unsettling air.
Heavy with implied narrative, each photograph is a vignette, the visual equivalent of a short story. Seemingly random images of people, places and things, when combined, suggest the passing of time and seasons. The subjects of Harvey’s photographs are usually concealed, whether it be through careful cropping, distance or her use of lighting, for example, a child behind a curtain, a woman obscured by the dappled light through a car window or a figure facing away from the camera into the sea. The symbols used throughout Harvey’s work suggest a complex jigsaw to be pieced together by the viewer.
B. United States 1973
Cig Harvey’s earliest work created a fantasy version of her own life experiences. Using herself as a model, each image was self-referential and meticulously mapped out to include specific metaphors, symbols and content. She received critical acclaim for the publication of her first monograph, You Look At Me Like an Emergency (2012), which presented a body of work from the first ten years of her career. Working in series, her photographs tap into universal elements of the human experience including love, loss, and belonging. Harvey has introduced a greater spontaneity into her more recent work, using models such as her daughter and husband to create visual narratives of her life in Maine. Her latest series, You an Orchestra, You a Bomb and Blue Violet, continue to expand on Harvey’s flair for storytelling, often hinting at the mysteriousness that lingers just below the surface of human existence.
Cig Harvey was born in the UK in 1973. She completed an MFA at Rockport University. Harvey has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and she has been a nominee for John Gutmann fellowship and the Santa Fe Prize, and a finalist for the BMW Prize at Paris Photo. She was the recipient of the Prix Virginia (2018), an international photography prize for women. Her work is held in the permanent collections of major museums and collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; and the International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York.
Harvey lives and works in Maine.