Aesthetica Archives: Cig Harvey

Aesthetica Archives: Cig Harvey

Cig Harvey’s (b. 1973) enchanting photography reflects upon familiar themes of home, family, nature and time, uncovering cinematic moments in the ordinary movement of life. Born in Devon, Harvey now resides in Maine, USA, where she spends time shooting images of friends and family to better understand them.

The compositions are deeply personal. “My work is always about fragility, and typically fragility within relationships,” Harvey explains. “I photograph whatever I don’t understand, what I’m concerned with, or going through, or obsessed about. And so, over a period of fifteen years, the work charts a life being lived: searching for this idea of home, finding a partner, putting down roots, having a family.” These ideas are articulated in the photographer’s first feature with Aesthetica.

Shown above are images from the series Gardening at Night, a dark and sensuous collection printed in Aesthetica. The photographs are full of stark contrasts; vivid colours stand out against bleak backdrops, human hands intersect with nature and shadows dance across domestic scenery. “Since a child, I have been obsessed with colour.” Harvey explains. “I have a very intense relationship with colour and memory. And light, for photographers, light is our language. “

The artist returned to Aesthetica for the third time with You an Orchestra You a Bomb, a photobook that pays attention to the fragile present. Characters look out through half-open windows. Birds and lanterns are released into the wild. Trees blossom and flowers rest on hands. Each vignette captures a split second in time. “It is about holding onto that life, and the fragility around how precious the everyday is,” she notes.

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Lead image: Cig Harvey. Sadie and the Moon, Lake Megunticook, Maine, 2013.
2. Cig Harvey. Spring Tree in Fog, Lincolnville, Maine, 2012.
3. Cig Harvey. Screen Door, Warren, Maine, 2013.