Enter Cig Harvey’s Enchanting Photographs of Life, Love, and Light
Family, beauty, love, nature, light—these are among the things that photographer and mixed media artist Cig Harvey celebrates in her work. With a keen sense of color and composition, she makes images to tell stories, mostly autobiographical. “Storytelling has always been the primary inspiration for my pictures. […] I put my secrets, hopes and concerns in my work,” she once said.
Though delicate embroideries of domestic and cherished objects and works in neon compose a part of her body of work, photography was Harvey’s first passion and remains her main pursuit. She came to the medium early, as she has explained: “I was hooked at a really young age. […] I became mesmerized with using imagery as a way of telling stories and so at thirteen I started working at a community darkroom and from there one thing led to another. I have been very single minded with how I want to live my life. Make pictures and create an environment that brings me a sense of happiness.”
Since the early 2000s, when love led Harvey out of the city to an old farmhouse in rural Maine, she has focused her work on the textures of her life there. Her young daughter, Scout, appears in many of her pictures. So do the daughters of her friends and extended family. They are often captured in the lush and rugged landscape of Maine, sometimes half-hidden among flowering woods in summertime, standing tall amidst the glowing specks of fireflies at dusk, or engulfed by a thick coat in a wintry field.
This spring, the artist, together with Robert Klein Gallery, celebrates the publication of her new book, Gardening at Night. It is inscribed to her husband and daughter: “For Doug + Scout. A love story, part two.” Through images and words—like, “They found a dog at the pound, ‘get your things,’ she said, and they become a family of three”—she tells the story of forming a family: one full of wonder, fragility, and a touch of magic.